Many students can’t wait for the last day of school each year.

When the last bell rings, they’re off to a wonderful summer of fun, sleeping in and just not going to school.

But Pine Strawberry Elementary students would love it if the last day lasted even longer than the half-day they normally finish with.

They just don’t want the final day of school to end.

That’s because school officials make it the best day of the year with plenty of outdoor activities to celebrate the coming summer.

They’ve been holding a fun field day on the last day every year for students in the first through seventh grades.

This year, every activity involved water.

“The kids are getting soaked and they’re having a lot of fun,” said special education teacher Kirsten Ratliff during this year’s field day on May 27.

“This is the first year that we’ve done only water games. Usually we’ll have track and field-type activities then water after, but the kids seem to enjoy the water activities more, so we did all water activities this year.”

And getting wet was a good thing with temperatures in the 80s by the time the students wrapped up the water activities and ate lunch before departing for summer vacation.

“The weather is perfect and everybody is having a lot of fun,” Ratliff said. “We’ve had years where it’s snowed on field day.”

Ratliff planned the event once again after COVID-19 canceled the 2020 event.

“We had started planning field day last year before it went kaput, so the kids were disappointed,” Ratliff said. “They were really looking forward to it.”

Classes took turns enjoying each of the activities, which included sliding on a wet tarp, water balloon toss, a race to fill up a bucket with water from a sponge, squirt gun beach ball, shark tank, and kickball with water and dish soap making running the bases a challenge.

Some eighth-graders who missed out on their final year enjoying the games a year ago volunteered to help fill water balloons and water buckets.

Mountain Village Foundation volunteers helped grill the hot dogs and hamburgers and serve lunch to the students.

Even before their clothes dried, the students returning in the fall were dreaming of the final day of the 2021-22 school year.

Contact the reporter at kmorris@payson.com

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(1) comment

Paul Frommelt

It's a shame some bureaucrats in our town loaded the splash pad budget with so much pork, that once again, our kids have little to do this summer. $80,000+ for a project manager?! For a 2 month project? Hundreds of thousands of dollars for "elk abatement" and "100 year flood protection". Good grief! We should be ashamed of our town "leaders"! They took a $300,000 project and turned it into a Washington DC style project of $800,000 of pork!

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