This article is sponsored by Leadership Prep School.
There’s nothing better than a day of play! Do you remember running barefoot through the yard, playing tag, and twirling hula hoops? Racing friends on bicycles, playing kickball, and enjoying popsicles in the sunshine? Ah, good ole days.
How about the annual Field Day at school? If water games, 3-legged races, and the ol’ egg toss weren’t enough, possibly the biggest draw was that field day marked the finality of the school year! The bliss of summer fun was finally near.
Unfortunately this year, COVID-19 and shelter in place orders caused a big hiccup for schools across the nation. Coming together with their peers to play outdoor games simply wasn’t an option.
Leadership Prep School in Frisco, however, didn’t let quarantine stop them from conducting an end of year day of play. They did what we’ve all become pros at this year — they pivoted and developed a plan B.
Although the students couldn’t come together physically, LPS felt it was important to encourage student interaction during this unusual season that lacked in-person experiences. LPS CTE robotics teacher Tony Curtis said,
Students need engagement that’s encouraging and positive. While some things aren’t certain for next year because of COVID-19, we’ll stay ahead of the game ensuring that students are engaged and focused on what’s important, like community involvement and having fun.
Play games, heal kids.
Innovative as always, LPS developed an alternative way to celebrate this playful end-of-year tradition — and they took it to a whole new level by adding a community give-back.
On Friday, May 22, 2020, LPS partnered with the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to support an online fundraiser through the Extra Life Program.
Extra Life unites thousands of gamers around the world to play games in support of their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life has raised over $70 million USD for sick and injured kids.
In lieu of the traditional field day experience, 221 LPS elementary, middle, and high school students signed up for a “Day of Play” through the Extra Life program.
Students were encouraged to use the day for indoor games with their families, such as board games or charades, or participate in online games with fellow students. Some participants chose traditional field day activities outdoors with siblings or general healthy play outside.
Through pledges and donations from friends and family, LPS students raised $4,625 to benefit Children’s Medical Center Plano.
Every dollar counts, especially after the economic strain COVID-19 has put on businesses and hospitals. Although emergency room units have been full due to the pandemic, many hospitals took a huge revenue loss. Part of the economic spiral was caused by non-essential surgeries and procedures that were canceled. Many employees have been furloughed as well.
It was a no-brainer for LPS to support the program and help the local hospital. Stacy Alton, Superintendent at Leadership Prep School, shared,
Participating in the Extra Life program is a natural fit for Leadership Prep School. LPS is a computer-immersion school and students are required to earn service hours through civic engagement in order to begin their journey as leaders in their local communities. Therefore, collaborating with the Children’s Miracle Network of Hospitals through the Extra Life program where gamers raise money to children in need of medical treatment fit our mission exceptionally well.