EASLEY — McKissick Elementary School had a special treat for students on Friday, hosting their second “Pass Blast” with a little help from the Easley Fire Department.
The Pass Blast is a reward designed to provide a little extra incentive for students to do well on their Pass and Aspire tests that are now required of third, fourth and fifth graders.
“These are the kids who took the test last year,” explained McKissick Assistant Principal Anita Richardson. “If they scored in a certain percentile, they’d get to come out here for the Pass Blast.”
Sixth grade Gettys Middle School students who took the tests at McKissick last year were bused in to take part of the fun as well.
“The first year we did this, we didn’t consider the fifth graders who would be moving on (to middle school),” said Principal Gary Mohr. “We realized pretty soon after that it wouldn’t be fair not to include them so we organized an activity bus to go and get them this year.”
Lee McJunkin, Justin Thompson and Dewayne Dobbins of the Easley Fire Department provided the entertainment: a giant fire engine pumping out 1,250 gallons of water per minute into the sky to rain down upon the blacktop where just over 100 kids played, danced and splashed.
“We do a few of these kinds of things a year,” said Dobbins. “The kids love it.”
“We were so grateful to the EFD for doing this for us,” said Richardson, who was one of the main organizers for the event. “I know that they’re very busy and it was just great for them to come out and do this for the kids.”
According to Mohr, it is hoped the Pass Blast becomes an annual event.
“This has been a terrific event for our students and I hope we can continue to do it,” said Mohr. “And today, it all worked out. The weather was perfect, the fire department didn’t have to go on a call and we got the buses for the Gettys kids. The stars must have aligned or something. But really, the kids worked hard. They earned it.”
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.