MERIDEN — In a light drizzle on the Maloney High School football field, 33 children from the Meriden YMCA's Little Spartans and Little Panthers preschool programs geared up for a mini-Powder Puff game.
Despite the conditions, it was all smiles and fun for the preschoolers as they galloped and chased each other around the shortened field. The impromptu game held Wednesday was organized to raise money for the preschool programs. The Little Panthers program, at Platt High School, and the Little Spartans program, at Maloney, offer preschool options for city residents in collaboration with the Board of Education, Middlesex Community College and city. The programs also provide experience for high school students interested in a child care career.
Amy Bishop, a freshman World History teacher at Maloney, said she and other teachers at the high school were inspired to organize the game this year after speaking with someone from the Little Spartans program concerned about potential cuts in state aid.
"We put this together in two-and-a-half weeks," Bishop said.
In total, the game brought in about $500, which will be split between the two preschool programs to purchase snacks and other supplies, she said.
The game didn't just raise money. It also brought the school community together and showed the best side of Meriden, Bishop added. Teachers, administrators, Board of Education officials, parents and high school students attended.
"This was a great community outreach and super cute as well," Bishop said.
With this year’s success, she said, "we will be doing this every year."
Next year, the game will be held at Platt. While playing at Falcon Field would be ideal, it's difficult to arrange bus transportation for both preschool programs. Holding the game at one of the high schools also allows students to attend more easily.
The official Powder Puff matchup between Platt and Maloney will be held later this month. Bishop coaches for the Maloney squad.