Penn Athletics to Host Seventh Annual Penn Relays School Days Field Trip

PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania is proud to once again host the Penn Relays School Days Program at the 112th Running of the Penn Relay Carnival. The seventh annual Penn Relays School Days Field Trip will take place on Thursday, April 27 and Friday, April 28, 2006 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day.

Children from Philadelphia and surrounding areas will have the opportunity to see the finest track athletes in the world compete, spend a day on an Ivy League campus, listen to a noted celebrity give a motivational speech for students and enjoy all the excitement and fun that makes the Penn Relays such a special Philadelphia tradition.

Sponsored by Penn Athletics and the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News (in conjunction with the News In Education (NIE) program), each student that attends the Penn Relays School Days event receives a packet of educational information about the Penn Relays that includes lesson plans in math, science, reading, vocabulary and technology.

This year a new activity called the "Marathon of Learning" will be initiated at the event. The "Marathon of Learning" will provide students and teachers with a fun learning activity to do during their day at the Penn Relays. As students enter the stadium, they will receive a cheer card with questions on some of the different nations that will be represented by athletes on the track. Six stations, each featuring a different nation, will be set up around Franklin Field. Students who make their rounds to each station and correctly answer questions about the countries will receive a School Days stamp on their cheer card.

A year ago, more than 6,200 students from 149 area schools in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey took part in the 2005 Penn Relays School Days Program at the 111th Running of the Penn Relay Carnival. The highlight of the School Days program was a special motivational talk on Friday from track superstar Felix Sanchez. Sanchez won the gold medal in the 400 meter hurdles at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

This year track stars Lauryn Williams and Jon Drummond are expected to speak at the School Days Assembly. Williams won a silver medal in the 100 meters in Athens and won the 100m gold at the 2005 World Championships. Drummond, a Philadelphia native, won gold for the U.S. in the 4x100m relay at the 2000 Olympic Games.

"The School Days program has become a great success over the past six years, and we look forward to continuing the educational outreach for the tri-state area's younger children. This is a unique opportunity for kids to engage is a fun learning experience that exercises both the mind and body," said Dan Flynn, Penn's Director of Marketing, Promotions and Community Relations. "At the Penn Relays these students have the chance to interact with the nation's best - the best athletes at one of the best universities. We hope this experience will encourage and inspire scholastic and extracurricular achievement."

Tickets for School Days participants are only $4 if purchased by Friday, April 14 and just $7 after April 14 until Monday, April 24. Look for more information online at our website www.ThePennRelays.com or email Melissa Klein at kleinf@pobox.upenn.edu with specific questions.