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School’s out for summer

FD students ‘Go The Distance’

June 1, 2011
By HANS MADSEN - Messenger staff writer , Messenger News

Feelhaver Elementary teacher Sharon Moser had her hands and feet full at the annual Go The Distance day in Dodger Stadium.

She was in charge of keeping several dozen inflated beach balls inside a soccer goal in the end zone.

With a bit of a breeze, this was not an easy task, even with a tarp covering them.

Article Photos

A group of Feelhaver Elementary Students work to keep several orange beach balls in the air Tuesday afternoon during the annual Go The Distance Day in Dodger Stadium. Each grade school competed to see who could keep theirs off the ground the longest.

She rose to the challenge,

"You just have to do what you have to do," she said after chasing them down with a group of helpful students.

The balls, one color for each of Fort Dodge's elementary schools, would later be used in one of the competitions on tap for the day - keeping all of them in the air as long as possible.

Riverside Elementary School library associate Annie Storey, was enjoying the end of the year celebration by doing a warmup dance on the field with some of her fellow teachers.

She likes having her students at the gathering.

"It's a good way to for the kids to end the year," she said.

While most of the more than 1,000 students on the field were jumping up, down and around, a few, like John Garretson, a third-grader from Hillcrest Elementary School, had an important job to do.

He was responsible for holding up the schools signs.

He said he liked doing so and that it was in fact, "An important job."

Sarah Marsh, a dietician with Trinity Regional Medical Center, helped organize the event for the students.

She said it fits in well with the center's Thrive program goals of educating parents and students about the importance of health and fitness.

"We're celebrating a healthy and active year," she said.

It's not just the students who get to be active on the field, a set of events is set up just for the principals.

They get to try to move a cracker from their forehead to their mouth without using their hands and shake a tissue box attached to their back which is full of ping pong balls empty.

Marlene Johnson, principal at Cooper Elementary, had a little trouble with the light balls.

"They just wouldn't bounce out," she said.

She was inspired though.

"I'm going to go from here and get in better shape," she said.

Once all the dust, crackers and beach balls had settled down, Cooper Elementary came out on top this year.

"I'm proud of the Cooper kids," she said.

With the trophy in hand, she had a goal for her students.

"Now it will be a challenge to keep it," she said.

If the enthusiasm of third-graders Kasey Armour and Ethan Recker is any indications, that goal won't be a problem. Both celebrated with an mid-air chest bump, much shouting a some advice good for anyone setting out for some exercise.

"Warm up," Armour said.

Contact Hans Madsen at (515) 573-2141 or



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