Free pizza and refreshments, basketball and dodgeball or just socializing. Now that’s a postgame event for teens.

The North Olmsted school district is considering making 5th Quarter a regular event on its fall and winter athletic schedule for middle school and high school students.

Superintendent Mike Zalar said the district will schedule at least one 5th Quarter event after a Friday or Saturday night home basketball game this season. The free event, in the gym and cafeteria at the middle school-high school complex, will be staffed by teachers and district employees.

District officials hosted one after the last home football game against Avon Lake and liked the results, Zalar said. The district partnered with the Faith Community Forum, a group which helps churches and community groups work together.

“It was great to be able to provide a safe and secure place for kids to go after a ballgame,” he said. “I think our kids really appreciate having a fun place to go where they can eat some pizza and play games like basketball and dodgeball. They really just like hanging out together with their friends and I think the parents appreciate it as well.”

Officials estimated 300 students attended the first 5th Quarter. Athletic Director Mike Ptacek said it’s a good event that can help draw students to other school activities.

“The students seemed to have a great time after the one in the football season,” Ptacek said. “There were different things for them to do in a good place, which they enjoyed. It also helps draw them into a positive setting.”

It was also a good opportunity for staff and students to interact in a different setting, Zalar noted.

“I appreciate the willingness of our staff to be able to pitch in and help supervise an activity like this,” he said. “They really enjoy seeing the kids having fun socially and it’s a great opportunity to build relationships with kids outside of the classroom. Activities like this help us continue to build a positive culture here at school and that is critical to creating an environment conducive to learning.”

Contact this reporter at assoceditor@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.

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