Summer School Game Day

The summer game day was started in 2009 with an attempt to invite the local neighborhood children to an hour long experience of games and activities done in the 1870s. Jean Grade and Fran Fintzen visited the neighborhood schools inviting the children in grades three through five to join them for one hour on a Tuesday. They went door to door with informational leaflets. The outdoor activities were scheduled on the grounds of Heritage School.

The first year had no neighborhood children, but the Summer Recreation group attended and the Boys and Girls Club was there once. The program continued to be offered with no predictable audience until it was decided to target the Longfellow Academic Summer School third graders. This led to including all the SASD summer school third graders and taking the program “on the road”. Since 2014, Summer School Game Day has been scheduled at the SASD elementary summer school locations. The largest group has been 33 students. The total number of students served in 2017 was 95 students.

The students are divided into three groups and rotate through three activities. Butter-making is the food activity. Painting wooden boats is the craft activity. The third activity is the opportunity to try some 1870 games. These include stilts, the game of “Graces”, rolling a large hoop with a stick, and baseball the way it was played in the 1800s. During inclement weather, marbles and jacks are also offered indoors.

View Photos of Summer Game Day

This activity could not be offered without the dedication of the coordinators, Fran Fritzen and Jean Grade, the many faithful volunteers, and the help of summer school teachers.