Students at St. Patrick Catholic School in Portland can now spend recess enjoying gaga ball, extra-large checkers, mega chess and more, thanks to recent grant funding. The students have also let their blessings overflow, using some of the funding to benefit the whole community.
All told, the Healthy Kids grant for $2,125 provided three gaga pits, two sets of St. Patrick School Shamrock-themed cornhole, extra-large checkers, mega chess (with 25” pieces) and tic-tac-toe.
The St. Patrick School community installed one of the gaga pits at Alton Park, across the street from the school. It’s available to students during lunch recess at the park and to park visitors. The other games are available for students before school and during recess. Teachers can also incorporate the new equipment into relevant class activities.
A team of volunteers helped prepare the new equipment for use. See photos of the preparation and students enjoying the new equipment in the gallery below or at this link (photos courtesy Portland St. Patrick).
Gaining in popularity, gaga ball is a low-impact variation of dodgeball, played in an octagonal "pit" with short walls. General rules have players in the pit start with one hand on a wall while a referee throws the ball into the middle. On the ball's first and second bounces, players say, "Gaga," and on the third bounce they say, "Go!" Players then go after the ball, hitting (not throwing) it toward other players. Anyone hit by the ball below the knee goes out. The last remaining player wins.
Congratulations on your grant, Shamrocks!