With all the budget cuts to schools, Sexton Mountain Elementary (Alayna's school) has been very lucky to be able to keep PE and Library and Music classes. For the last two years, however, they haven't had any field trips. There was one earlier this spring, where they walked to the local wetlands to do some restoration work with the SOLV team. But, they haven't had any of the 'get on the bus and drive far away' field trips that everyone remembers from elementary school. All this is preamble to say how special last week's field trip was. All the kids from the multi-age classes (2nd and 3rd grades) rode the buses to downtown Portland, where the parent volunteers waited for them. We broke up into groups of 1-2 kids per adult and wandered through downtown. (Yes, there were that many volunteers) Each group was given a list of places to visit, with some facts about each, some questions to answer about a few of the stops, and some things to watch out for as we wandered. It was a really fun morning. We met at Pioneer Courthouse Square, walked to PSU and through the park blocks, to the library, and then down to Portlandia, before heading back to the square for lunch. After lunch, we headed to the Chinese gate, and down to Ankeny Square, and to the river, and then took the Max back to the square to regather and send the kids back to school. My Google Earth map with that path says we only walked for a little over 2.5 miles. It definitely felt like more than that. Alayna and I were in a group with Arielle and her Mom. The girls were real troupers. For a couple kids from the suburbs, getting to see an active downtown was a bit of an eyeopener, and they really seemed to enjoy it. I was really glad that I got to go on the field trip, too.
Alayna's arm span is exactly one Lincoln plinth
Wow! She's big!
Sexton Mountain takes over Pioneer Courthouse Square for lunch
Alayna finished her first triathlon today. She had a great time and I am very proud of her. When she was done she kept saying, "I'm so glad I did it!" She did a 50 yard swim, a 2 mile bike ride and a 1/2 mile run. She walked for some of the run, but she finished strong with a run to the finish. The bike portion was definitely her best part, even on her old, heavy bike. At the finish line, there were two kinds of medals, the bigger ones for the parents who participated with the kids, and the smaller ones for all the kids. She saw the two types and immediately asked for a bigger one. She's very excited to do this all again next year. The triathlon was a fundraiser for the Friends of CARRA (www.friendsofcarra.org), which funds research and support for kids with arthritis.
Alayna with her teacher (and the organizer), Jim Hayhurst
Finishing the first lap of the bike ride
Running to the finish
The finish line! (notice that the medal they tried to give her
is different than the one she ended up with. )
Swimming! (Alayna is in the second lane from the bottom)