A little more than a decade ago, even Deborah Crosby was unsure of the exact year, the idea for a field day involving the public schools’ Bridges classrooms was hatched.
In the previous years, the Bridges class for special needs students, which had been operated from Port St. Joe Elementary School, was dispersed.
To ease financial and transportation, to meet the needs of a growing special needs population, and as a move to put students closer to home, Bridges classrooms were created in each of the four public schools.
But with dividing, some hearts were cleaved.
Those kids had grown, learned and played together for years.
They had a bond only they could share over the difficult challenges, physical, mental, emotional, each faced.
So, the Bridges Field Day was to be a bit of reunion each spring in the form of the kind of games each of the elementary students will enjoy later this month.
A day of friendly and non-point-scoring competition, including basketball, in various forms, as well as relays with a healthy mix of laughter and camaraderie in the mix.
And last week, the students at each of the four schools, along with those from the Growing Minds Center, dressed in pink t-shirts, had themselves a blast, with NJROTC cadets from Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School assisting.
They competed, high school against high school, elementary school against elementary school, to a background of music and dance.
All while generating sufficient smile wattage to light the elementary school gym for several school years.
“It is just so cool to see them all together, having a great time,” said Port St. Joe Elementary School Principal Joni Mock.
After the games, the students enjoyed a repast provided by First Baptist Church of Port St. Joe.