Communities In Schools will hold its seventh annual track and field event from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Leo Buckley Stadium on the campus of Killeen High School. Nearly 500 first- through sixth-grade students from the Killeen, Copperas Cove, Belton, Temple, Florence, Salado and Cameron independent school districts served by CIS are expected to participate. Participants should check in at the stadium by 8 a.m.

Students will compete in a variety of events including the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, long jump, relay races, a sack race and tug-of-war. Individual place ribbons will be presented to the first-, second- and third-place finishers in each event along with participation ribbons for all students. The top three campuses to finish in each event will receive trophies.

“The track meet has become quite popular with our students,” said Michael Dewees, CIS executive director. “It is a chance for them to excel at teamwork, exhibit good sportsmanship and get a little exercise. But more importantly, this is a great way for them to build self-esteem and gain motivation to succeed, not only in the event, but also in their personal lives.”

The event continues to serve as an incentive for students to achieve improved grades, behavior and attendance. Just as important, the event also brings positive interaction between parents and children.

“More and more CIS parents are getting involved and supporting their kids in the track meet,” Dewees said. “It is so encouraging to see the stands filled with parents cheering. ... Our students need that kind of support and that sense of family, which instills the desire to succeed academically and in other endeavors.”

Dewees also said community support is invaluable as soldiers and local civic organizations help with all facets of the event. Some 200-plus volunteers will work this year’s track meet, and more than 1,000 parents, relatives and friends are expected to attend. The track meet is open to the public. Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children.

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