It was a picturesque spring day. The sun was shining on our athletic field, music was playing, and more than 200 children could be heard laughing, playing games, dancing, and singing.
On May 8, children from elementary schools in Harlem that participate in our Recess Enhancement Program (REP), Waterproofing, or Community Sports Leagues programs were invited to field day at our Upper East Side campus. Organized by REP, play coaches, staff, and volunteers led activities on our FieldTurf field including gaga, relay races, obstacle courses, a water balloon toss, dance, soccer, and more! On a particularly warm day, the water balloon toss and dance stations were huge hits!
For some of the children, it was their first field day experience. Many schools do not have adequate space or resources to organize field day or physical activity programs for students. For example, one of the schools in attendance, PS 72M, lost their entire school yard due to construction and have been holding recess in the cafeteria and auditorium for the entire school year. REP field day gave these students an afternoon of fun, physical activity outdoors.
REP field day began about seven years ago and is one of the free programs we provide for children in the community. Our goal is to encourage a lifetime of fitness. Seeing the kids enjoy physical activity and hearing the laughter, from the beginning to end of the event, were highlights of the day for everyone involved.