The First Integrated Field Day for CG Elementary Schools

So I started teaching P.E. I was teaching half day, in the morning, at Evergreen and the other half day I would go to Palo Verde. I did that for a couple of years and then…in those years, I can tell you that we called Evergreen the “Everwhite” because it was mostly white. And Palo Verde, which is a minority school, was all Mexican and a few Blacks and one or two families of Anglos. We started our P.E. program. I enjoyed it. With the help of Mrs. Luft (spelling), the [other] P.E. teacher, we had big classes. I had P.E. classes for the boys, and she would teach for the girls. I would have 90 kids at time in one class and she would have about the same, all 4th or 5th grade. Those two schools got the idea, in order to make people to know each other, of having a field day. Some of the teachers at the school were not too happy about it. They told me I was crazy. I said, “No, I’m going to keep trying to make the community get along with each other.”

At that time we had 250 kids [each?]. Now Evergreen is a lot bigger than that. But they all had the P.E. program that was the same. So, what we did, was we combined to have a FULL day. We brought all the kids from Palo Verde--at that time it was East School--so all the kids from East School came across Florence to Evergreen. In those years that was cotton fields surrounded by ___________ [or, possibly, divided by aquaducts?] We got all the kids there. I had talked to the school kids and I told them that the first time that I heard there was a problem I would stop the games. We had about 750 kids on one playground at one time. Got all the teachers together. I assigned activities for them, that they would be in charge. And we played basketball, volleyball, and dodge ball—which we don’t play anymore (Laughter)—and different kinds of games so that every kid from both schools could participate. There wasn’t a kid who did not take part in those activities. And those teachers were involved just being the monitors for those kids. Every 30 minutes, I’d blow the whistle and we would change stations. The first year it went great. We did it all the while I was at both of those two schools. It was easy for us to transport or walk from East School to Evergreen. We didn’t have a cafeteria at East School so they catered and everything [from Evergreen.]

 

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