By Curt Yeomans
The first pitch tossed by Lee Street Elementary School second-grader, Logan Richardson, in his attempt to drop first-grade teacher, Chris Smith, into a dunking booth outside the school on Friday, had the power to finish the job.
It was just a little off target.
Smith, who was taunting everyone who tried to dunk him, then took aim at - well - Richardson's aim.
"I'm still dry," the teacher told Richardson as the youth launched his second pitch.
Richardson's aim was dead on with his second shot at the dunking booth's release arm. The platform dropped beneath Smith and he went for a swim in the tank while children crowded around it began to laugh.
"Not anymore," Richardson later said he told himself.
Lee Street's Parent-Teacher Association held a Back-to-School Fall Festival on Friday, to celebrate the school having made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) this year. AYP is what the Georgia Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Education, use to determine whether a school is meeting state and federal education standards.
The school normally hosts its fall festival in October, and another festival in the spring. But the school did not hold its spring festival earlier this year, so the PTA decided to move up the date of the fall festival, and make it a celebration of the school's success.
"We wanted to do a nice celebration for the kids," Lee Street PTA President Jannelle Weston said. "Over the summer, we decided to hold our fall festival in August, to celebrate the school making AYP, and to get the kids motivated about coming back to school."
The festival included the dunk booth, several games, a moonwalk, an inflatable obstacle course, an inflatable slide, an inflatable basketball game, a train ride, and tours of the Clayton County Police Department's Mobile Command Unit and a Clayton County Fire Department truck.
"I'm having a lot of fun, especially playing basketball, which is my favorite sport," said kindergartner, Deron Weems, 5.
"I enjoyed the golf game, because golf is one of my favorite activities," said fifth-grader, Jamin Costner, 10.
"I like playing the pencil toss," said fifth-grader, Cameron Dalton, 11, referring to a game in which students had to burst balloons using pencils instead of darts. "I'm on my seventh time playing this game ... My strategy is to just focus on the balloon, and then throw the pencil."
Students and their parents had to use tickets to participate in each activity, except the tours. The tickets could either be pre-purchased, or bought during the festival. Weston said the PTA pre-sold 4,000 tickets for the festival, at a cost of four tickets per dollar.
Throughout the first two hours of the festival, a steady stream of parents came through the various areas of the school where events were taking place.
"We're supporting the school," said Mozell Costner, Jamin's mother. "It's just beautiful to see the families are coming together to celebrate and have a good time. This is one of our great schools."