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From art to GaGa Ball at Richland schools

The students in the Richland School District have had a busy month of March, with several events and activities in each of the Shafter public elementary schools.

At Golden Oak Elementary, they held their annual Open House event. Students had a chance to show their parents examples of their work and art, as well as the classroom environment that they spend so much of their days in.

The parents also had a chance to meet with their children's teachers, getting to know them, as well as examining the progress of their students.

"This time is important to the parents and staff, giving them both a chance to connect and work on their children's progress together," explained Superintendent Rosa Romero.

Over at Redwood Elementary School, there was a Family Book Fair Night. The event included the opportunity for students and their parents share their love for reading with each other.

Parents shared how important reading is for success, and the families came away from the event with several new books and school supplies.

"I loved reading as a kid, and it is so important for kids to learn how to read," said Michael Ladano, who was there with his daughter.

Another bright spot is a new attraction at Golden Oak Elementary School. On the playground, kids are having a blast playing a rare game in the United States. The game is called GaGa Ball.

The game is a variant on dodgeball, but without the pain of getting hit in the face and head with the ball.

GaGa Ball is played in a ring or pit, and students slap or hit the ball at each other below the knee. If you are hit with the ball, you are out. The last child left in the pit wins. This game also is inclusive because the child doesn't have to be a fast runner, and also smaller kids may even have an advantage over taller players.

The game is just starting to catch on in the United States, with its origins in Israel. "This is a great game and can be enjoyed by all students, no matter their athleticism," Romero said.


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