A rainy day May 25 didn't dampen the spirits of 140 children and more than a dozen International Baccalaureate students in tie-dyed T-shirts when the Worthington Kilbourne Community Kids Field Day moved inside to the high school's hallways and gymnasium.

Playing such games as duck, duck, goose, dodgeball and sharks and minnows, they also helped contribute to a good cause supported by the IB students.

Students in kindergarten through sixth grade could participate in the event for $13 each, and those proceeds, about $1,500, will go to a charity organization, packH20, said teacher Lauren Glaros.

She said Delaware-based Greif's Flexible Products and Services division and National Scientific Co. Limited produce packH20's backpack-shaped vessels for safely storing clean drinking water.

The easy-to-sanitize backpacks reduce the impact of waterborne pathogens that lead to illnesses in developing nations where people transport water on foot, Glaros said.

Just one backpack can provide safe water for a classroom of children for an entire day or serve water needs for a family of five, according to packH20's website.

PackH20 sends backpacks to more than 35 countries around the world, including Haiti and many African nations, she said.

"We have raised money for packH20 in the past," Glaros said. "We gave them $500 three years ago, but never this much. It is a great globally focused charity, so it seemed a good fit for us.

"This effort really exceeded our expectations. We hoped to have close to 100 kids and raise $1,000. With just four student leaders coordinating this event, I feel really good about what we were able to accomplish."

The four student leaders were Lucas Hershberger, Ian Watters, Kristen Wood and Antonia Zouridakis, all Worthington Kilbourne juniors working toward International Baccalaureate diplomas or taking IB classes. International Baccalaureate emphasizes foreign-language development and international awareness and encourages students to become self-motivated learners.

A number of volunteers -- all incoming IB students -- also helped with the event.

"One of the learned outcomes across the IB curriculum is that the students become global-minded," Glaros said.

The class also has contributed to SOAP, short for Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution, an organization connected with the fight against human trafficking; and the United Nations World Food Programme.

Glaros said the IB diploma program provides a two-year balanced and rigorous education for students, who must complete a Theory of Knowledge course, a "creativity, activity, service" project and an extended essay.

"I think IB offers a wonderful opportunity to learn in a different way," she said. "We are like a school within a school. Students are challenged in different and more rigorous ways."

Hershberger also said the IB program is challenging.

"It is a special program that allows students to think outside normal standards," he said.

Hershberger's 20-page extended essay will answer the question, "To what extent do Chinese and United States cultures affect motivation and strategies within those cultures?"

Meanwhile, he said, he enjoyed the chance to interact with younger students May 25.

"Everyone was very energetic -- the kids really seemed to love the games," he said.

"It was fun watching them have fun at the stations we created."

Principal Angie Adrean also came out to join the fun.

"Any time we can do something to engage our students with younger kids, it is a good day," she said.

"These kids are not only making a difference globally, they are making a difference in our community."

pwillis@thisweeknews.com

@PamelaThisWeek