McKinley Morning Basketball – 22 Years of Fun

These designs and many more through the years were kindly created by Tammy Johnson, Poland Art Teacher.

     Way back in 1995 two teachers at McKinley Elementary School decided it would be fun to give kids from the school a chance to join an in school program to play with their friends.  Mr. Cullar and Mrs. Moon have been volunteering their mornings for the Morning Basketball Program from the beginning of March to the last days of school since 1995  (22 years).  Each year any student interested in playing basketball in 5th or 6th grade was invited to be part of a team and play in a round robin tournament.

     This unpaid volunteer time added up to many hundreds of hours given so that boys and girls would have the opportunity to come early in the morning to develop friendships, get exercise and learn to enjoy a healthy sport.  The kids really enjoyed playing against their friends, but at the end of each season the winning teams would also get a chance to play against a team of teachers.  Winning teams of students would each get custom t-shirts designed by former Poland art teacher Tammy Johnson.

     Over the life of this wonderful program for students there have been over 2,000 participants. Many students have come back years later expressing to those two teachers or the administration how much they enjoyed having that experience.  Teaching doesn’t just happen in the classroom…sometimes it comes in lessons about teamwork and sharing and to the sound of basketballs bouncing.