May Roberts Elementary aims for the record books

May Roberts Elementary School students tried to enter the record books with the biggest recorded game of balloon tag. (The Enterprise/John L. Braese)

ONTARIO – The student body of May Roberts Elementary spent Thursday attempting to join a group that includes Charles Helmke, Ayanna Williams and Jackie Miley.

Helmke is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having 97.5 percent of his body tattooed. Williams makes the book for growing her fingernails to 18 feet 9 inches. Miley holds the record for most teddy bears as her home is filled with 8,026.

And, with the proper paperwork and verification, students at May Roberts will enter the book for a giant game of balloon tag. The school sent in paperwork to compete for entry three months ago.

Approximately 400 students walked to Ontario High School on Thursday, March 22. There, they tied strings attached to balloons to their ankles and took to the middle of the gym floor.

On the go signal, the students started stomping, trying to pop the balloon of anyone around.

The idea to enter the record books came from Lindi Robertson, a sixth-grade teacher at the school, according to Principal Marshell Hooker.

“We wanted to have an incentive for the great behavior this year,” Hooker said.

“We needed an idea that would be fun for both 5-year-olds up to 12-year-old students,” Robertson said. “It had to be meaningful for all and stay within our budget.”

Students from May Roberts were not the only students having fun.

Helpers from Ontario High School’s Future Hispanic Leaders of America and the high school’s leadership team also tied balloons onto ankles. The same high school groups had previously spent hours blowing up 500 balloons.

As balloons popped one by one, students with deflated balloons went to sit on the bleachers.

“I really don’t know who popped my balloon, but I had fun,” said 6-year-old Aayden Martinez.

“I was just running around and it popped behind me,” said Kayla Deleon, also 6. “I did not get a chance to get anyone out.”

Videotaped for verification, the school will await the judgment of the Guinness Records people. May Roberts will need to surpass the 280 people currently holding the record, a group in England that accomplished the feat in 2015.

May Roberts won’t hear whether it succeeded in making it into the book for some time. Whether the attempt wins a spot in the book, all agreed the try was fun.

“I am just so proud of my teachers and all the kids today,” said Hooker.