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The Dart: Vidalia children enjoy spring break

VIDALIA — For more than a dozen students who gathered Friday afternoon, Good Friday provided a recess that would never end.

When The Dart landed in the Vidalia Fruit Bowl — the local nickname for the neighborhood surrounding Peach, Pear, Plum and Apple streets — a large group of Vidalia Lower and Upper Elementary students who lived there, had seized the opportunity to play together during the first day of spring break.

Fifth-grader, Alyssa Kirby stood in the middle of the street gripping a baseball bat as her cousin launched a tennis ball in her direction, which she smacked into her neighbor’s yard — but they didn’t mind, she said.

She and her friends don’t have the opportunity to play like that all of the time — “Just every once in a while,” she said.

Meanwhile, her classmate Adrian “Alex” Williams and his two brothers, Amos and Allen, ran with a football in hand, which they tossed back and forth with more of their cousins and neighbors.

Ashton Cade Garrett, a first-grader at Vidalia Lower Elementary, caught and threw the ball just as well as any of his makeshift teammates — even if he was only half their size.

“My name is Odell Beckham Jr.,” Garrett said, pretending to be the NFL player for the Cleveland Browns.

Just the day before, the kids had taken a break from a week of studying and test taking to huddle in a hallway during their lunch period as a strong storm passed through Vidalia, Alex Williams said.

“We all had to get down like this,” he said, sitting on the ground and covering his head with his arms.

The students were glad to be away from school for spring break, they said, during which they would have a week’s worth of time to play.

Even as dark clouds shifted overhead Friday afternoon, causing brief spat of rain to fall, the games continued.

“This feels great,” Rodrick Brown said, with his arms outstretched as though he were catching the raindrops as they fell.