Ballard’s got spiritPublished 8:26pm Monday, October 31, 2011
By JENNIFER LYLE
Ballard grade 5 teacher
And they’re off!
Students and teachers at Ballard Elementary School in Niles spent the morning of Friday, Oct. 21 participating in the 16th annual Spirit Day Run. After weeks of training during gym class to build up endurance, the excitement was palpable and spirits ran high as the students waited their turns to run.
The 1.5-mile cross-country race takes third, fourth and fifth grade runners on a challenging course around Ballard School grounds. All participants earn a Ballard Spirit Day T-shirt and certificate for their efforts, while the top five girls and top five boys in each grade receive medals at a special ceremony in the afternoon to celebrate their accomplishment.
The kindergarten, first and second grade students and teachers cheer the older runners on with signs and noisemakers created in class during the week. After the official race, the first- and second-graders get to participate in their own half-mile fun run on the track behind the school. Smiles are contagious as the older students get the chance to cheer on and encourage their younger buddies to do their best.
And new this year, Ballard students ended their Spirit Day festivities with a rousing pep assembly featuring music from members of the Niles High School Band, greetings and congratulations from Coach Todd and members of the NHS cross-country team, and words of encouragement and spirit-filled cheers led by Coach Brawley and members of the NHS varsity football team.
Ballard students and teachers definitely had a spirit-filled day. Go Vikings!