First graders visit for Pond Day

Jennifer Eisenbeis, Breaking News Editor

The kids from the elementary schools visited the high school pond on Oct 9 to learn about the pond and the ecosystem it includes. This is the first pond day of the year, as there is one in the spring.

“This pond day was no worse or better than the average,” biology teacher Lisa Stewart said. “It was harder than normal to get volunteers, but the percent chance of rain for that day dropped over the course of the week, so in the end it worked out.”

Unlike earlier years, there were fewer problems with this year’s fall pond day.

“The two major things I had to worry about was weather, and volunteers,” Stewart said. “It wasn’t too bad today, it wasn’t as warm as you would hope for, but it was doable. The other (volunteers) was because students didn’t find out their schedules for today, and all tests were thrown on them today it was a real issue trying to keep enough students to run it, because so many felt that they needed to go to their classes and take their tests instead, and keeping first graders out of the pond.”

In order to run pond day, the volunteers were excused from all of their classes because pond day runs the whole school day. The volunteers had a pod of three other volunteers and together had about 10 elementary school kids to watch as they took them around the pond.

“I had to take an AP Government quiz before school,” junior Maddie Janowak said. “I didn’t have anything else to worry about besides the quiz. It was very tiring at the end of the day because the North Road kids were very crazy because they just came out of lunch, and we had already dealt with the other two elementary schools before them and we were running out of energy.”

Pond day has been going on for about ten years, and Stewart has changed many things about it over the years.

“We always had the high schoolers teaching the first graders,” Stewart said. “But a high schooler stayed at each station, and they would have to stay there all day long and teach it. Nobody wanted to just stay at a station, everybody wanted their own first graders. So I changed it so now instead I teach all of the high schoolers every station and then they just rotate though so that everybody gets to have first graders. The stations themselves have changed.”

The volunteers had to set up and take down all of the stations at the beginning and end of the day, they also met new first graders and taught them new things about the pond.

“I thought the day went well,” Janowak said. “Everything was set up well and going from station to station went smoothly as well. I gave a North Road kid, Brianna, a piggy back ride around the pond and it was fun too.”

PHOTO Alyssa Branoff