ANDERSON, Ind. — Anderson High School had the distinct feel of an amusement park for several hours Friday to celebrate student appreciation day.
Rain forced school officials to shift the entire annual event indoors, but that didn't dampen anyone's spirits.
There were inflatable bounce houses and slides set up in hallways. SCUBA diving lessons and aquatic volleyball were taking place in the pool. Baby animals stood in the gymnasium. Nearby, students played laser tag and a game called Bazooka Ball. And there were literally a thousand students — and teachers — roaming around and having a good time.
In addition to the fun, games and events, representatives from several colleges, including Ball State University, Harrison College, Ivy Tech Community College, Anderson University and the Purdue College of Technology were on hand to provide students with information.
"We thought for a while that the weather was going to pass over and the sun was going to shine," said Carol Analco. "I felt terrible having to move it inside."
If anyone shared her concern, it wasn't apparent.
More than half the school's 1,800 students got to take the afternoon off. To participate students had to apply — and prove they had good grades, attendance and behavior; and were involved with community service programs, clubs or teams.
The other students who didn't meet those criteria had to sit in the school auditorium watching a movie, and most seemed fairly glum they couldn't take part in the fun.
Both Leslie Wallace and her friend, Gabbi Dapcich, said the afternoon was a terrific break from the regular routine.
"I think it's important and really gives students a break from normal classes," Gabbi said. "This makes it possible for us to power through the rest of the year."