Archive for Friday, January 28, 2011

Preschoolers at Kennedy School learn importance of KU vs. K-State rivalry in honor of Kansas Day

Students at Kennedy School spread some of the excitement leading up to Saturday's Sunflower Showdown rivalry match-up between the Jayhawks and Wildcats at Allen Fieldhouse.

January 28, 2011


Kennedy School student Mikey Gregorio belts out the lyrics to "I&squot;m a Jayhawk" as he and other students in Jill Anderson&squot;s class make their rounds performing Kansas University and Kansas State University songs and chants for other classes Friday, Jan. 28, 2011.

Kennedy School student Mikey Gregorio belts out the lyrics to "I'm a Jayhawk" as he and other students in Jill Anderson's class make their rounds performing Kansas University and Kansas State University songs and chants for other classes Friday, Jan. 28, 2011.

Jayhawks assembled from construction paper hang from the ceiling of a classroom in Kennedy School on Friday, Jan. 28, 2011.

Jayhawks assembled from construction paper hang from the ceiling of a classroom in Kennedy School on Friday, Jan. 28, 2011.

Kennedy School student Erwin Mora peeks out from underneath his Wildcat mask, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011.

Kennedy School student Erwin Mora peeks out from underneath his Wildcat mask, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011.

Intrastate rivalry

• All-time KU record against K-State: 180-90

• KU record against K-State on Kansas Day: 3-1 (KU won 36-32 in 1915, 68-43 in 1946 and 78-69 in 1991; and lost 58-57 in 1983.)

• Biggest KU win: 71-58 in 1988, in a regional final of the NCAA Tournament, sending the Jayhawks to Kansas City, Mo., for the Final Four and a national championship.

• KU record at Allen Fieldhouse: 40-18

• KU record at Bramlage Coliseum: 21-1

• Fieldhouse featured on ESPN GameDay: Fieldhouse gates open at 7 a.m. for fans looking to attend ESPN College GameDay in person.

The show will be on from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on ESPNU, then from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on ESPN.

The show also will be on from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., leading up to the 6 p.m. tip of KU-K-State.

One fan from the morning session, which is free and open to the public, will get a chance to shoot a half-court shot. A made shot wins $18,000; a miss is worth $1,000.

State Farm, as GameDay sponsor, pledges to contribute $1 for each fan attending the morning session to Hawk Zone, an organization from Student Union Activities that works to boost student involvement in campus athletics.

Kids in Lawrence learn the importance of the KU-Kansas State rivalry early on.

Try age 4.

“They all know what a Jayhawk is,” said Jill Anderson, a K-State grad who teaches 16 preschoolers at Kennedy School. “When you’re born in Kansas, you’re a Jayhawker — no matter what.”

All this week, Anderson’s students have been learning all about their place in the world, and the preponderance of both Crimson and Blue — and splashes of purple — during this most significant of milestones.

As most any elementary or secondary student in Lawrence and elsewhere in Kansas may recall, Saturday is Kansas Day, marking the territory’s entry into the union as a free state. And just as they do every year, students often find themselves spending time in class baking bread, making cakes, singing “Home on the Range” and committing to memory all sorts of knowledge regarding Kansas history, features and trivia.

But even with all that, this year’s state birthday is especially significant for two reasons:

• Saturday just happens to be Kansas’ sesquicentennial, a full 150 years since Kansas became a state.

• The Jayhawks and Wildcats play Saturday at 6 p.m. at Allen Fieldhouse.

The marquee matchup means millions of people across the country will be getting an education in all things KU, K-State and Sunflower State. That’s what happens when the game is the featured contest on ESPN, which is bringing its raucous GameDay show — featuring Rece Davis, Jay Bilas, Hubert Davis, and Digger Phelps — to the fieldhouse for hours of programming, promotion and prognostications.

Thank a couple of native Kansans for helping turn the nation’s eye on today’s basketball bash in Lawrence.

“When I brought it up to people here, they looked at me like I was crazy: ‘What are you doing, knowing the state’s birthday?’ ” said Nick Dawson, ESPN’s director of programming and acquisitions for college basketball, who grew up in Hutchinson and graduated from KU in 2002. “In a perfect world, you couldn’t pick a better day to have these two teams play. … And it’s great for the state.”

Dawson worked with Tim Allen, senior associate commissioner of the Big 12 Conference, to schedule the Kansas Day clash.

“As a native Kansan, it’s a significant deal,” said Allen, who grew up in Chanute and graduated from K-State. “No matter where you grow up, or where you’re from, you have pride in your background. This was something natural, something we thought would be fun. All the pieces fell into place.”

Back at Kennedy, the youngsters in Anderson’s preschool class certainly know Saturday evening’s game is big, even if they don’t understand all the details.

Rai’Onna Helms couldn’t know that KU’s biggest win over K-State came in 1988, when the Jayhawks advanced to the Final Four with a 71-58 victory in the Midwest Region — on the way to a national championship.

Daizon Callahan couldn’t possibly recall that Scot Pollard made the first and only three-point jumper of his college career during KU’s 78-58 Senior Day victory in 1997.

And Hussain Moukali? How’s he supposed to know that the Jayhawks toppled the Wildcats during the first-ever game played at the fieldhouse, 77-67, on March 1, 1955?

That’s OK, Anderson said. They’re still learning.

“It doesn’t really matter to me that they don’t they don’t know the answers to all these things,” said Anderson, who “bleeds purple” despite earning her teaching certification at KU and taking graduate classes on Mount Oread. “We talk about how you have to stay in school. The important part is that they learn that school is important, and that college is important, and that when you grow up you need to go to college.”

The high-interest rivalry game gives kids a chance to dream, to identify, to predict — all during a milestone in the history of their state, the one born with the help of anti-slavery fighters known as Jayhawkers, the nickname now often reserved for native-born Kansans.

Whether the right team wins Saturday evening won’t soon be forgotten.

“We’ll talk about that Monday,” Anderson said.


mijemod 7 years, 2 months ago

Yes......fill their brains with B S.

Bladerunner 7 years, 2 months ago

Another generation of haters..........great......

geoismeo 7 years, 2 months ago

Jill Anderson, I don't care if you "bleed purple", quit brainwashing the children with this nonsense.

amberT 7 years, 2 months ago

Way to go Jill! Always finding creative ways to encourage students. If you noticed she exposed kids to BOTH sides of the sides of the issue. IF you had read the article you would see the message was: college is out there, take advantage of it. Great message for all kids.

Nikki May 7 years, 2 months ago

I always thought it was weird that Kansas people are so fixated on the state's birthday. I never knew the birthday in any other state I lived in. Is this a Kansas thing, or did I just not pay attention as a kid?

Kelly Johnson 7 years, 2 months ago

Cute idea for the preschoolers...and clever idea to hold this game today!

volunteer 7 years, 2 months ago

Appalling that the lesson is "You NEED to go to college."

Does the school board approve of this message? There is no room for those who choose to be bricklayers or carpenters, for example?

Deb Engstrom 7 years, 2 months ago

it was a lot of fun for the kids -- leave it alone!!

pace 7 years, 2 months ago

I know the teacher does not mean to hold a corrupt system in a place of honor to four year old eyes. It is a matter of her loving sports and going rah rah. Just a fervent fan of the game. It is probably like theater to most people. The price of the tickets are just too high for me. I don't agree this is a good way to celebrate and honor Kansas. I hope it isn't appropriate. Collegiate sports have become a corrupt business. I have no interest in hating K state. The corruption of the business and the obsession on mean rivalry disgusts me. The corruption and the stand of winning not the athleticism has murdered most of the fun and value of the games for me. I hope the corruption isn't representative of the state but it might be.

RogueThrill 7 years, 2 months ago

I enjoy college sports, graduated from KU and work at KU but age has brought a bit of perspective. The tribalism surrounding college athletics, stoked by Internet fan forums, is a wonderful microcosm of tribalism within US politics and international relations. If nothing else, it's a less harmful way to study the us vs. them mentality ruining the world around us.

That said, it's great entertainment. Just try and put it in perspective. The people we are trained to "hate" are fellow Kansans, Americans, and more importantly - people. We're allin this boat together.

Aileen Dingus 7 years, 2 months ago

punkrockmom- Nevada Day is 10/31. My kids were crushed when we moved here and they found out that they didn't get Halloween off as a state holiday, nor did they get to trick or treat on Kansas Day!

Kat Christian 7 years, 2 months ago

Oh and that's real educational teaching? Is this what they are taught instead of social skills, proper eating and cleaning up habits, colors, number recognition, etc. This is BS - how lame. I'm glad my boy did not attend Kennedy school - he learned so much more at Sunshine Acres.

Kat Christian 7 years, 2 months ago

Actually they should be taught more historical events that pertain to this area becoming a state, instead of sport team rivialries - who gives a flip - I don't and I don't promote it in my home. Sports are overrated. There is so much history in this area and across this country that these children need to learn. Don't waste their little minds on petty crap as team rivalry save the for the college kids not our littles ones.

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