Someone You Should Know: One last day at the beach

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 5:46 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Who doesn’t want to go to a beach party in the dead of winter?

“When it’s so cold here in South Dakota, the kids just love it when they get to bring their shorts, and pretend we’re not in this cold winter. And forget about all of the boots, and snowsuits they have to wear, and just have fun,” said Vickie.

It’s a day to look forward to each year, in Vickie Fargen’s preschool class in Elkton.

“Well this started over twenty, twenty-five years ago when I used to work at another preschool. And someone had the idea of having a beach party. And it has just evolved over the years. Because we’ve done it for so many years, their older siblings know this coming, and they’re telling the kids about it. So as soon as they know that it’s coming up, we start counting down the days,” said

Mrs. Fargen wants the kids to feel, that they’re at the beach.

“Well I have this big tub of sand that I just keep moving around every year when it comes to beach party day. I dump it out in that big pool. Then we have another pool that we bring in, and put water in it. And another container that has special sand, that they can make sandcastles in,” said Vickie.

And there’s plenty of learning too.

“And there’s so many things they gain from this. The vocabulary. We’ve been talking about the ocean, and ocean animals for a couple of weeks,” said Vickie.

This will be Mrs. Fargen’s final beach party. After forty years of teaching, mostly at the preschool level, and the past sixteen in Elkton, she’s retiring at the end of the school year.

“It’s tough. It was a little sad getting ready for this. I would keep teaching forever if I didn’t have to do the after hours things, and the weekend things. All of that work is getting to be a little too much....I love this part. If I could just walk in door each morning and be with these kids, and teach. I could do that for a long, long time,” said Vickie.

“As a parent whose had a child that’s gone thru her preschool. And as a principal, I’m always in awe of everything she does and what kids remember years later. They are still remembering the impact she had on them,” said Elkton Elementary School Principal Kelly Neill.

“It’s just the excitement. I mean they come bouncing in the door everyday, with smiles. They always want to be here, they’re eager to learn. I’m going to miss this. Just miss the kids so much. So yeah, it’s tough,” said Vickie.

And she hopes the kids in the future preschool classes, have their day at the beach.

“My hope is that whoever comes in and takes over the preschool, that they will continue to enjoy doing these kind of fun days. And I’m close by. I hope I’m invited back to help with it. And maybe I can come back to beach party next year as a participant, and not one who gets it ready,” said Vickie.