Students and teachers at Carl Stuart Middle School celebrated all the hard work put in this school during their second annual end-of-year homework bash on Thursday.
Students who showed determination and continued diligence with turning in their work, teacher Beth Tyler said, were able to participate in the event.
Tyler said the school did this type of event last year for the first time and took a lot from it planning wise.
She said she started talking to Principal Harvey Benton around February to figure out if they wanted to do something similar to last year. From there, Tyler said they began to get the ball rolling and came up with a game plan including talking to business sponsors for the event.
Overall, she said last year went relatively well for their first time, but did change a few things like the games for the seventh graders, who had their own section out front to play horseshoes, washers and beanbag toss, a bounce house, a hangout area to play with things from home like footballs and the new, popular spinner toy and a break-out box game similar to the escape rooms.
Tyler said with that, the students were actually breaking in to boxes by solving a series of educational puzzles based on stuff they learned this year.
“We wanted it to be a day where kids are just engaged and physical and not on their phones,” she said. “So that’s the feature there.”
Tyler said the students had been looking forward to the fun day for weeks.
“The teachers are amazing and they’ve all been really positive and they’ve handled the little glitches that are just a natural part of this,” she said. “Our worst issue was we weren’t sure if it was going to rain today or not.”
Walking around the school, Tyler said the students looked happy and seemed to have enjoyed themselves.
“The teachers [looked] happy, which means the students are engaged, because when students get bored, then they’re not engaged and then … they can have some discipline problems,” she said. “As long as I see teachers being happy that means the kids are really enjoying what they’re doing.”
Other games were also included in the day like capture the flag, soccer, volleyball, basketball, tug of war, a big parachute to play with, two sets of bounce houses, a kickball tournament, Henson’s flavored ice truck, an Indiana Jones type game and a dunk tank where students could throw three balls to try and dunk their teachers.
Tyler said the students were the ones who actually voted on who to put in the dunk booth. She said seven were chosen including Barry Lueders, Marci Starkey, Kerry Hymas, Jenni Lea, Zac Jeffreys, Kathy Bates and Brandy Milburn.
Of those, Lueders and Starkey were the top two that the students voted on.
Tyler said students were able to pay $1 for three balls to throw at them.
“All the money is going to go to our backpack program,” she said.
Hymas said she volunteered to be on the student voting list months ago.
“When I found out I was chosen I was excited to have the chance with the students during their field day,” she said.
While she had fun, Hymas said the water was cold, but it was fun to see the students trying to hit the balls and dunk her.
Tyler said the school plans to keep doing the bash yearly.
She said they owe the day’s success to community members and businesses who contributed including Henson’s Island Snow, which gave a good portion of its proceeds to the school; Bear State Bank’s Alicia Dewees, who came out and cooked hot dogs for the kids; several Conway High School students who helped facilitate; and parents who volunteered for the day.