INDIAN LAKE Indian Lake students dont mind going back to school in the least. In fact they eagerly anticipate it. Why? Because the first day of school at Indian Lake Central School isnt just another school day, its a celebration where students can enjoy all sorts of activities, from carnival games and sports challenges to square dancing and even a barbecue picnic!
All students kindergarten through grade 12 participate in the event and follow a schedule where each grade group rotates through all of the various activities available.
This years celebration on Sept. 5 brought smiling faces together for what may have been the best First Day yet.
After meeting at 7:45 a.m. for breakfast, students gathered in the gym for a welcome assembly. Then it was time for a group photo, and without further delay, the fun began.
Out on the sports fields, students competed in games such as capture the flag, washers, ladder ball and a curious activity involving several students trying to walk in unison with their feet strapped to wooden planks.
Carnival games complete with prizes for winners were set up on the pavement. Students could guess how many pieces of candy were in certain containers, fish for rubber ducks in a plastic pool, try their hand at the target throw or soda bottle ring toss, get their faces painted or check out the celebrations most popular event, Soak-a-Volunteer, in which very tolerant volunteers endured repeated student-inflicted drenchings.
Younger children could hop around on inflatable bounce house, and adults could peruse the info tables inside the building, which included a breast cancer awareness display and a drug abuse prevention station. The Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons contributed to the event with a station where students could have a CD made of their fingerprints and photos, a useful tool to help to locate them if they were ever lost or kidnapped.
The First Day celebration at ILCS is now in its 6th year, and is an event that not only students but also many community members look forward to. There is even a council that pulls together the events each year.
Our first day celebration is always a lot of fun, we really enjoy the support of the community, and of course weve got the board members. said Superintendent Mark Brand.
Its a great response, said Principal David Snide while grilling some hot dogs and hamburgers for the picnic lunch, Its great for the new kids. It just sets the tone for the whole year, and its wonderful to have it involve the community.
The idea was actually adopted from other schools and continues to spread throughout the area.
The idea came from schools in Vermont, said middle school English teacher Sally Stanton, who helped launch the celebration, We were the first school in the area to start this; now South Glens Falls and other area schools are doing it. I think it makes it a celebration like the first day of school should be. The kids are excited to get back and see their friends; it just makes it really nice.
And excited the students certainly were as they made their way from station to station. Chase Hutchins, a third grader whose favorite subject is science, said that he loves coming to the first day of school.
My favorites are the jumpy house and face painting. he said.
Fifth-grader Alexis Seerys favorite part of the celebration is the announcements that introduce new students.
Im having lots of fun and meeting new people, she said. I also like playing lots of games and having my face painted.
The celebration gets bigger every year, according to guidance counselor and CSC secretary Joanna Pine.
I think that everyone really enjoys it, we try to mix it up every year, she said. Our committee gets larger every year too, so there are always more ideas.
Providing fun for students, staff and community alike, the First Day celebration at Indian Lake Central School has proved the perfect remedy for the back to school blues.