No matter the outdoor temperature at the time of this wintertime activity, it is always well attended – because no one wants to miss out on an afternoon of fun! (Just don’t tell the students they are also learning good sportsmanship and getting lots of exercise!)
Thirty-four years ago, Clara Barton Elementary School held a winter ice skating event to provide its students with a little friendly competition while getting some outside exercise. It has been held every year since. On February 10, students in grades one through five from Clara Barton-Hawthorne Elementary School laced up their skates once again in what is now known as the annual “Ice Skating Classic.” The event was held at the ice rink on the south side of Clara Barton Elementary, and all students, staff, and Clara Barton-Hawthorne families were invited to attend.
Races began at 1:00 p.m. with the first graders and beginning skaters, and continued every few minutes. Boys and girls raced separately, as did the more experienced hockey players, six skaters to a heat. There were even chair races (skaters pushed a spectator seated on a chair ahead of them across the finish line). Race winners earned ribbons.
The event is an opportunity for many to be involved in a student-centered activity. Clara Barton-Hawthorne staff organized the race heats. Volunteers from Park Company, Forum Communications Company, Dawson Insurance and the school’s Parent-Teacher Association served hot cocoa to spectators and skaters alike, and handed out the race ribbons. Powerturn Fitness donated prizes, and Kid Bobble from Fargo Force Hockey skated with the students. The North, South, and Davies High School girls and boys hockey players were also invited to assist the Clara Barton-Hawthorne students get laced up in their skates and ready to race.
The school received a $500 grant from Creative Plains Foundation to purchase new skates that were used for the event and for physical education ice skating activities this season. In addition, Scheels Sports sold the skates to the school at a discount.
At times throughout the years, the Ice Skating Classic has had to be rescheduled due to frigid temperatures or unseasonably warm temperatures – but one thing that has never been rescheduled are the fun memories made by all in attendance.
All photos courtesy Betsy Beaton.