Remember field day? That one day out of the school year when you got to play for the entire day, pause for lunch and then hit play until the day was done. I got to experience a field day; yesterday I had so much fun volunteering at the fifth annual JUST PLAY event on St John.
This all-day event organized by Dean Doeling, a Senior Production Artist for the Nike Corporation in collaboration with our local St John community gives youth ages 2-17 a full day of play. Older youth compete for field event prizes and the little ones have fully staffed games just right for their size. Since the program began in 2009 Dean has donated over 1000 basketballs, footballs and soccer balls to St. John, and distributed to the various schools and to Parks and Recreation.
During our pause for lunch a little boy sitting next to me finished eating and looked up with big sad eyes to ask: "will there be another recess today?"
I told him: "of course, this whole day is recess, we just needed to eat to refuel!"
He looked down at his t-shirt and his eyes brightened, with a big smile he said: "THAT'S why its called JUST PLAY!"