It was an exciting day at Drinkwater Elementary last Friday as the students, now feeling relatively settled after being back in school for more than a month, had both their photo day AND the school’s annual fall fun fair scheduled for the very same day. What a way to end the week!
For a number of the students, it was the first time they were able to participate in the fun fair as COVID threw a bit of a monkey wrench into the last couple of years’ events.
From the looks of the children as they lined up to enter their classrooms in the morning, you could see that extra effort had been put in to look nice for their school photos — some sporting nicer-than-usual outfits, others with gel in their hair they wouldn’t otherwise have had.
It’s a good thing photos were in the morning because by the end of the fun fair, the students looked like they’d been tossed around in a windy tunnel. But in a good way, if you know what I mean.
Drinkwater was fortunate to have received tremendous support from Duncan Dairy Queen as well as the Koers family for the event, which was extra special for the students.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to capture the energy and excitement the children brought to an event they had been looking forward to for some weeks. The only thing is, it was incredibly difficult to capture because the level of enthusiasm the student body displayed well exceeded my ability to accurately describe such an occasion.
That’s one of the joys of elementary school aged children — they often see the world in simple ways; ways as an adult, it’s quite often impossible to achieve. Being carefree as an adult takes a lot of work.
Watching the mini fun fair society operate was so cool.
To an adult it’s just a freezee or a knickknack, but to a kid it’s a freezee or knickknack that cost a ticket(s) that they were entrusted to spend wisely and after much deliberation, it was decided that freezee or knickknack was worthy of such an expenditure.
The joy of making the decision on their own, and recognizing the ramifications it made on their future choices at the fair was very adult-like in a way, but for the kids, it was so empowering and quite simply, fun.
Over at the cakewalk, children who liked to live on the wild side could wager five whole tickets in an attempt to earn a cake with no promises of winning.
One mom had told her son: “good luck on the cake walk, and remember you could come away with no cake,” which is a total mom thing to say. Then she said: “But I’m totally rooting for a cake.”
She managed to unlock kid-mode for a second there and I’m all for it. (I have to say, DQ had generously donated Dilly Bars to the school for the event but if there was a DQ ice cream cake in the running, I might have spent all my tickets, and thrown a few elbows to get it.)
The cool thing about the fair was that parents were invited and it was really neat to see such proud pupils parading their parents around the school with a real pride of place.
While some would say a fun fair is not worth the time and effort put into the planning, the children saw it as an opportunity to have a great time and show off the place that they spend most of every weekday.
What’s more, the sense of community watching the older students run the games for the younger ones, and watching siblings from different classes racing around to find each other and pool their tickets to play games or “shop” together can’t be replicated during a traditional school day.
Congratulations to Drinkwater Elementary for fostering a school environment that staff and students are proud to show off to the community. And thanks to the event’s sponsors for recognizing the value in providing support.
When local businesses step up for events like that it teaches the youth that being a part of your community is a good thing and a worthy investment. Support from folks like the Koers family, and Dairy Queen shows the benefit of supporting one another and it gives the students an idea of what a society that helps each other looks like. I’m sure the school would also want to thank the parents who donated baked goods and white elephant items. Either homemade or store-bought it all still costs time and money and events wouldn’t happen without those willing to show their support.
Through the eyes of an adult, events like the fun fair are little things, but through the eyes of a child, they’re everything.