York Suburban schools compete in eighth Battle of the Buildings
The heat is on once again for local schools as teachers and staff team up to fight for what's really important: the honor of their building.
On Saturday, Jan. 26, York Suburban School District will hold its eighth Battle of the Buildings — an event held every two years that pits schools in the district against each other in a number of games, including musical chairs, "Hungry Hungry Hippos," a tray carry and balloon passing.
"We don't do the tug of war anymore," said organizer Karen Evans, joking. "That got a little bit heated."
The tradition started at York Suburban in 2006, but it's not unique to the district.
Several other schools, including York Catholic High School as well as Southern York County and York City schools, have held their own competitions over the years.
A good cause: And for each district, it's not just for honor — it's also for a good cause.
York Suburban's Battle of the Buildings benefits the district's Dollars for Scholars program — this year celebrating its 20th anniversary — which provides scholarships to senior-year students for college or trade school.
At the seventh Battle of the Buildings, in 2017, the district raised $5,200 for the fund, bringing the pot up to $25,000 — which will be given as a scholarship this May, said the fund's treasurer, Stephanie Sullivan.
Proceeds from the event, including T-shirt sales, concessions and raffled baskets, will be added to the fund, and a mascot race will collect additional contributions from the bleachers.
Evans, who also is the president of Dollars for Scholars, said there's an opportunity to donate to area families throughout the year as well — through each building's Impact Closet, which accepts hygiene products such as toothbrushes and shampoo.
Those donations add to the point totals of competing Battle of the Buildings teams.
How the competition works: Each team represents one building or a group of buildings, made up of principals, assistant principals, deans, teachers and aides, Evans said.
Since the middle and high school teams are competing independently, they will each also get 20 upperclassmen students.
The competition typically draws about 100 participants, all gunning for their team to win a trophy, which the winner will display until 2021.
Although the competition is fierce, it's all mostly about having a good time.
"We want a fun, family-filled night that you could bring your kindergartner to, hoping your senior would go," Evans said.
The competitive factor builds morale among the teachers, she said, and often gets kids excited, too — going home to tell their parents they have to go and cheer them on in support.
Guests can support their favorite team by wearing their dedicated team color, and this year even school board members are embracing the spirit with their own bright yellow shirts.
"One of the things I like about it is there are increasingly fewer events that are all community," Sullivan said, adding that with busy schedules, it's not often the entire district comes together.
Battle of the Buildings will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday at the York Suburban High School gymnasium. Doors will open at 5 p.m.