AKRON On a select number of early season Wednesday games for the Akron RubberDucks, Canal Park becomes part professional baseball stadium and part classroom, filled to the brim with elementary, middle and high school students from throughout Northeast Ohio.
Each Education Day brings dozens of schools to the ballpark to see the RubberDucks face an Eastern League rival with plenty of fun activities mixed in to keep all of the students engaged.
On May 11, several Suburbanite-area schools attended the game between Akron and the Erie Seawolves, witnessing a back-and-forth affair in which the home team rallied multiple times and walked off with a win in the bottom of the 10th inning thanks to a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch.
Two Green Local schools attended the game, including all 11 fifth-grade classes from Green Intermediate School.
Teacher Gary Wolfe was among 12 educators, including Principal Mark Booth, who oversaw the approximately 300 students from Green Intermediate who went to the game,
“I think they just liked being with their friends in a non-academic environment where they could be together,” Wolfe said. “They interacted with the players prior to the game and tried to get the players to come over and talk to them, which some of the players did.”
Getting out of school for the game didn’t mean escaping class entirely. Students had classes both before leaving for the stadium and after returning and even at the game, academics were still part of the equation.
Throughout the day, the RubberDucks promotional staff posed history, math and science questions to the students using the Canal Park video board and representatives from the Akron Zoo were also at the game to add a science slant to the proceedings.
“It fit right in with our science program we’re doing because we’retalking a lot about force, change of speed and motion” Wolfe said. “It went very, very well and the RubberDucks’ people had it organized very well.”
Moving 300 students anywhere is a major logistical challenge, but with 12 adults to oversee the process, the day went seamlessly for the Green contingent, which also included a group from Green Elementary School that made its own trek to the game.
During the game, the concourse at Canal Park often resembled the hallway at a school in between periods, with students walking in all directions, talking to their friends and being goofy. Wolfe, Booth and the rest of the Green teachers decided to not allow their students to freely roam the stadium during the game in order to keep track of everyone, but it was still a fun day that included a Lunchables lunch provided by the RubberDucks.
The students and teachers were able to witness a dramatic win, have fun with each other outside school and get back in time to do more learning in a traditional setting before heading home at the end of the day.
Reach Andy at 330-580-8936
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