On June 11, 2019, Windsor Knolls Middle School (WKMS) held its annual carnival event. The event was organized by sixth grade social studies teacher Lorri McCadney and Special Education Department Chair Jamie Tull.
This year, students rotated stations throughout the day, including the carnival station, a movie they selected from 12 PG and PG-13 rated options, yearbook distribution, Kahoot Trivia, awards, and a Color Run.
Approximately 70 parent volunteers assisted. Volunteers participated in carnival setup and cleanup, monitoring students, and making the Color Run happen. “This was … the inaugural year of the WKMS Color Run,” said McCadney. “Each grade level had a designated course to run as teachers stood at various Color Stations, ready to douse the students with colored cornstarch.”
Parents helped prepare the Color Run course and monitored students during the run while teachers were participating in the event. Michele Jaeb, vice president of the PTSA, which helps fund the carnival, was one of the parents who helped set up the Color Run. “The kids enjoyed it a lot,” she said, “(and) it was clear the staff was having just as much fun as the kids.”
Many parents asked why award distribution was included with the day’s events.
McCadney said, “This was the first time WKMS combined all end-of-year events into one day. Prior to this year, events like yearbook distribution, awards and the carnival took place on dierent days; as a result, there were multiple days with adjusted schedules and disruption to the instructional environment. Combining all events into one day and including additional activities resulted in a fun, relaxed environment that allowed students and staff the opportunity to interact and have a much-needed brain-break prior to the projects and exams that tend to take place during the last two weeks of school.”
However, McCadney noted that staff is considering alternatives for the future.
“While reflecting on the success/challenges of our Carnival Day, one of the things that we all agreed needed ‘tweaking’ was the dissemination of awards.”
Students did find the carnival environment to be fun and relaxed. Sixth-grader Caitlin Montgomery said, “I liked the free time (of the carnival), and the inflatables.” Each grade spent about an hour and a half visiting stations that interested them. They enjoyed choices like inflatables, a rock-climbing tower, miniature golf, basketball, kickball, soccer, spikeball, corn hole and 9-square.
As for the inaugural Color Run, McCadney said, “Judging by the smiles and laughter, the Color Run was a success! Students are already looking forward to next year’s run through colored cornstarch clouds!”