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We’re Having A Field Day!

Hooray! One of the best signs the school year is coming to a close is Field Day, and last week the fields at Stewart Manor Elementary School were swarming with Red, White and Blue as the students romped through some friendly intramural competition.

Blue won the day, but that didn’t dampen the fun for the other teams. “Field Day is awesome,” said second-grader Gianna Giovinazzo. “There is a lot of working together and that is why we won; I like doing all the stuff.”

The term “field day” originally referred to a showy day of military intramurals when generals had to “coax” rather than “command” their soldiers—and the soldiers could show off their skills without risking their lives. Similarly, school Field Days are about bragging rights, not team standings.

“My team earned a lot of points in the racing competition,” said first-grader Emily Kightlinger. “We practiced a lot in the gym; we were super-fast!”

This year, economic conditions on Long Island have had a slight impact on Field Day purchases, according to Michelle Cosentino, the second-generation owner of Startrack, a Farmingdale-based supplier of toys, prizes, jewelry and goodies (all made in the U.S.A.) for such themed or seasonal events.  “The schools don’t have the same budgets they used to,” she says, and prices have gone up.

Even so, by June 11 she was sold out of spin plates and gold medals. She says the medals sell out quickly these days because they are given to all. “It’s a new era; every kid’s a winner now,” she says. “They don’t want anyone to feel bad.”

And why not? You can’t keep spirits down when there’s no more homework and summer camp is right around the corner.