Students spend the day studying at stadium

May 09, 2002|BY TARA REILLY

For sixth-grader Amanda Weadon, the thrill Wednesday morning was enjoying a Hagers-town Suns game from a seat along the first base line.

"I like watching them play and being able to come to first base," the Western Heights Middle School student said.

Amanda was one of 2,500 middle school students from the Tri-State area who attended the first Education Day at Municipal Stadium. The Suns beat the Hickory Crawdads 3-1 in the game that began at 10:30 a.m.

Most of the students who attended were from Washington County Public Schools.

"It's fun. They should do this more often," said Springfield Middle School eighth-grader Brittney Dean.

Brittney just may get her wish. Suns General Manager Kurt Landes said the team plans to make Education Day an annual event.


"It's a great educational tool to have the kids learn outside of the classroom," Landes said.

The day included a mix of education and baseball, including a pre-game news conference run by students.

Four youngsters lined up to interview members of the Suns and then had to write a story based on the responses, Landes said.

"We did not just want to have a field trip day," said Eugene "Yogi" Martin, the Washington County Board of Education's supervisor of physical education and athletics. "We wanted this day to be an educational day from the very beginning."

Landes said the team created a curriculum guide for teachers to use in their classrooms before the event. It incorporated the aspects of baseball into reading, math, science and social studies lessons.

He said the team worked with the School Board to make sure the material met Maryland curriculum standards.

Leigh Green, a social studies teacher at Springfield Middle School, said her students will go back to the classroom and learn about the historical aspects of baseball.

"We'll try to relate some of the things they saw today to the classroom," Green said.

Western Heights Middle School sixth-grader Harry Minnick said his class learned some trivia about the Suns before the event, including how far the team travels in a month.

Harry's schoolmate, Curtis Uhler, said he was enjoying Education Day because he got to spend some time out of school.

"It's pretty fun," said Bethany Foltz, an eighth-grader at Springfield Middle School. "Everybody's just having fun and watching the game."

Eighth-grader Lindsey Hayes said her class was looking forward to the trip.

"It's a really pretty day to be out here," the Springfield student said. "I've been to a Suns game before, and I like baseball."

Landes said the Suns will hold another Education Day on May 22 for about 4,000 elementary students. Regional Cable Network, Antietam Cable and Ad Channel 55 are sponsors of the events.

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