For one day only, some clowning around was allowed to take place in school.
Kino the Clown visited Feelhaver Elementary Wednesday for the school's end-of-year activities and awards day.
"Today we have Field Day, which we have every year at the end of the school year, in all of the elementary schools," Kim Bodholdt, counselor, said. "This year, we're adding our purple hands assembly with our Field Day to make it a fun day for everybody. Included with that, we brought Kino the Clown."
-Messenger photo by Brandon L. Summers
Kino the Clown has Feelhaver Elementary School students keep quiet as they approach so they don’t wake the sleeping “blue jay” inside the box, one of many jokes and tricks performed Thursday during the school’s Field Day. Kino is actually Mark Schillerstrom, a former Fort Dodge Senior High teacher with two grandsons at Feelhaver.
Kino the Clown is Mark Schillerstrom, a former Fort Dodge Senior High English teacher who has two grandsons attending Feelhaver.
"They asked if I could come up and do some clown stuff, so we made some arrangements with the school to come on their field day," he said. "And here I am."
According to Elizabeth Metier, second-grade teacher, Schillerstrom created Kino for her church.
"Kino started a clown Christian teaching through our church, First United Methodist Church, several years ago. He had a whole clown troupe and they would teach Bible stories," she said. "Right now, he's teaching about kindness and good character."
For Field Day, the children participated in various activities, including spending time with Kino, Bodholdt said.
"The kids are playing a lot of games, physical activities. We have a parachute. They're playing Minute It to Win It games. There's a game called Car Lot," she said. "We have 10 different activities and one of those is watching the tricks Kino has for the kids."
The elementary school students rotated activities every 25 minutes, so they could all spend time with Kino before the awards ceremony, Metier said.
"The kids are really interacting with him," she said. "He's telling jokes and teaching them lessons as they go. I think so far it's been pretty positive."
Kino spent Field Day doing tricks and jokes to the delight of young audiences. At the assembly, he also provided lessons about character, through comedy.
"We will be touching on that this afternoon at the assembly," he said. "I have a couple of skits that will address that idea, towards the end. Mostly, right now, at this stage, it's kind of just entertainment."
Schillerstrom said he enjoys being a clown for children.
"It's a lot of fun. It's one of the things you get to do for just the pure pleasure of doing it," he said. "It allows you to establish a persona or a character that functions at a level of absurdity that mostly we don't deal with in real life."
Bodholdt said the students not only enjoy Field Day, an event they look forward to every year, but also enjoyed their special visitor.
"Kino is a lot of fun," she said. "We do have a couple of students who are a little scared of clowns, and so we're real careful about how we handle that, because it's obviously for fun, not to frighten anyone. Most of the kids, for the most part, love to see the clown wandering around the school."