By Andrea Cordle
Each day, Melissa Cox drives by the westside Dyer Mobile Home Park on her way home from work at Stiles Elementary School. Cox is a first grade teacher and she sees many of her students playing soccer in an open field by the Sullivant Avenue mobile home park, where the kids live. That’s when an idea hit her.
Cox decided to gather staff members at Stiles for a surprise soccer game with the students at the mobile home park.
On May 20, about 20 staff members came to the mobile home park after school. They knocked on doors and invited all the kids to come out and play their teachers in a game of soccer.
“The school day is so structured,” said Cox. “We wanted to do something fun with the students at the end of the school year.”
After a few minutes, the open field was filled with teachers and excited kids – Team Minos (students) versus Team Maestras (teachers).
Parents and other residents watched the big game. In the end, the teachers came away with a 3-2 victory.
Jessica Cahill, the principal at Stiles Elementary School, said the game was an effort to build relationships.
“This is a great opportunity to come into the community and interact with our students in their environment,” said Cahill.
Cahill also said Stiles does not have a big open space for students to play soccer at the school so the open field by their homes present an opportunity to play their favorite sport.
According to the principal, approximately 60 percent of the children at Stiles are English as Second Language (ESL) students and the majority are hispanic.