MVES event overcomes obstacles, draws hundreds

Published 10:31 am Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Meadow View Elementary School students join the Thompson High School girls' soccer team in a game during the "Have a ball with learning" event at MVES on Sept. 15. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Meadow View Elementary School students join the Thompson High School girls’ soccer team in a game during the “Have a ball with learning” event at MVES on Sept. 15. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Meadow View Elementary School teachers Michelle Brakefield and Heather Reeves overcame multiple obstacles before they were able to welcome hundreds of visitors to the school on Sept. 15.

The “Have a ball with learning” event originally was scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 10, but Mother Nature had other plans. After severe weather was forecast for the event’s original date, the school moved it to Tuesday, Sept. 15.

All was going smoothly on the event’s makeup day until a natural gas leak a few miles from the school closed a portion of Smokey Road – the main corridor to MVES.

But even the road closure couldn’t put a damper on the celebration, which was the first of its kind at the school.

“It’s very rewarding to be here and see everyone’s smiling faces,” Brakefield said with a laugh. “We hope this will become an annual event.”

Brakefield and Reeves began planning the event in May as a way to keep parents involved in school and to showcase Alabaster’s community spirit. The school received nearly 900 reservations for the celebration, and the crowd filled the school and outdoor play areas throughout the evening.

During Have a ball with learning, the school provided free dinners to all attendees, and the Thompson High School baseball, softball, boys’ and girls’ basketball and boys’ and girls’ soccer coaches and players provided athletic opportunities for the MVES students.

All families in attendance received swag bags with several types of educational games, resources and other items, and were able to run through the Thompson Warrior football team’s inflatable tunnel to cheers and applause at the end of the night.

“The kids look up to (the high school athletes) like rock stars,” Brakefield said. “The coaches just said ‘Tell us what time and tell us what to do and we’ll do it.’”

The celebration drew plenty of praise from Alabaster School Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers, who said he was “blown away” when he saw the number of cars parked in front of the school.

“I’m so very proud of this. It’s such a wonderful team effort,” Vickers said. “It certainly shows the great spirit here at Meadow View.”

While watching kids sprint through the inflatable tunnel, MVES Principal Rachea Simms said she couldn’t remember a more successful event in the school’s history.

“It’s one of the best events we’ve ever had,” Simms said. “This makes you want to come to work every day.”