A Virtual Field Day for Elementary Students on Friday June 5
MAY 27, 2020 – Thanks to elementary school PE teachers, students will be able to enjoy a Virtual Field Day on Friday, June 5.
“Field day is an important event for both students and PE teachers each spring,” said Sara Harmon, the school system’s Program Manager for Health & Physical Fitness.
“I’m sure many adults have memories from their own field days as a child. The PE teachers who collaborated on this project wanted to make sure all of their students are able to make memories and have fun with field day, even if we can’t all be together for an in-person event this year.”
“I’m glad the PE teachers involved in this project allowed me to be a part of their work and I hope students and families enjoy participating as much as our teachers enjoyed making it for them.”
The origins of the event can be traced back to Katie Chamra, the PE teacher at Clemmons Elementary. Her three children go there, and her oldest daughter, Reese, is in the fifth grade.
Reese learned on April 24 that there would be no in-person teaching for the remainder of the year, she came into the kitchen and said to her mother, "So I don't get to have my last field day with you?"
“When I shook my head ‘no,’” Chamra said, “she turned and left the room crying.”
“I knew I had to do something.”
“I had already been looking into some ideas for a virtual field day and had come across a YouTube video from Brunswick County where each elementary PE teacher had provided a field day activity.”
The next day, she approached Harmon about the possibility of inviting elementary PE teachers to collaborate on creating a Virtual Field Day.
Harmon was all for it, and Chamra went to work.
“Our Elementary Physical Education Department really gets along well when we get together for our meetings throughout the year” Chamra said, “so I was pretty sure I could get at least 10 teachers on board to help put something together.”
“Sara had me present it in our Monday virtual meeting and it has just taken off from there.”
“Even though I had the idea, it would not have been successful without everyone's help.”
Michelle Whisenant, the PE teacher at Walkertown Elementary School, and John Sealey, the PE teacher at Old Town Elementary, were among those who helped make it all happen.
Technology is not my strength,” Chamra said, “but, thankfully, John Sealey from Old Town Elementary is really great with technology and had some amazing ideas about putting the field day in a Google slides presentation so that the families could play each activity individually.”
“John was also willing to help anyone who was also struggling on the technology side.”
Sealey said he enjoyed participating in the project.
“We believed we could make a more personal and impactful event with the teachers here in the district,” Sealey said.
“I have a little history in video broadcasting and editing and the district has access to a website/program called WeVideo, which allows us to produce and edit content. I helped put a lot of the presentation and put together a preview video/advertisement that teachers could send to families.”
Whisenant provided other forms of technological support. She, too, enjoyed participating.
“The technology piece of this work allowed me the opportunity to really discover all the ways I can better enhance my PE program at Walkertown, along with teaching others how to incorporate more technology into their programs,” Whisenant said.
“I did not want our students to miss out on the opportunity to have a field day. I am very excited to see the videos and pictures I will receive for this great family engagement event. Also, I am so thankful to Katie Chamra, John Sealey, and Sara Harmon in making this virtual field day a reality for our WS/FCS students!”
“So very thankful to be a part of this group that truly lives out the word "TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More.”
For Virtual Field Day, the PE teacher at each elementary school was invited to come up with an event that students could participate in at home. PE teachers came up with such fun events as Shoe Kick, Beach Towel Volleyball, Spoon Relay, Paper Airplane Cornhole and Paper Ball Trick Shot.
PE teacher then created a video showing how the activity would work.
“In the end,” Chamra said, “we ended up having 22 schools participate in the Virtual Field Day and one of our community Tae Kwon Do partners.”
“Field Day is a celebration of the end of the school year and an activity that brings the students, staff and parents together every year. Even though we will not be at the school together I look forward to seeing my students enjoying these field day activities with their families as a celebration of the end of this school year. As I will be having Field Day at home with my three.”
“We have an amazing Elementary Physical Education department in Forsyth County that has been led by Sara Harmon. Sara is always encouraging us to share ideas with each other professionally. I think that this product that we have created together shows the dedication that we all have towards the health and wellness of our students.”
To see the promo video that John Sealey created, go to Promo.
To see the video in which each PE teacher demonstrates an event, go to Activities.