TULELAKE — Batkid took a backseat Tuesday when students from Tulelake Elementary and High schools showed they can be superheroes, too.
The Tulelake High School gymnasium was filled to capacity as the school district’s 525 students, along with teachers, staff and community members, converged to view videos of Miles Scott’s recent adventures as Batkid and compete in “caped crusader challenges.” Many students and teachers wore T-shirts or outfits of their favorite superheroes including, of course, Batman.
Miles, a 5-year-old kindergarten student at Tulelake Elementary, and his family attended Tuesday’s all class assembly only hours after returning from New York City. Miles reprised his role as Batkid for Good Morning America on Monday.
“Miles has inspired all of us to give it forward,” Kendra Watkins, a Tulelake teacher, said at Tuesday’s all-grades assembly. Through Dec. 6, Tulelake schools will compete to see which class can raise the most money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
They organized and sponsored Miles’ Nov. 15 make-a-wish day in San Francisco, which was converted to Gotham City By the Bay. During the day, working as Batkid, Miles accompanied Batman during a series of caped crusader adventures.
Earlier this year, the foundation’s Greater Bay Area chapter, which includes Siskiyou County, granted his wish to be Batman. Miles is in remission from leukemia.
His parents, Nick and Natalie Scott, have turned down a series of appearance requests since Batkid’s amazing day sparked international interest. Nick said they agreed to the Good Morning America appearance, with Miles’ approval, to help promote the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Batkid Fund, which will provide money for other children fighting life-threatening illnesses.
“The most rewarding is the Batkid Fund,” Natalie said after the assembly. “It’s nice to give back.”
Miles, known for being extremely shy, stayed mostly in the background Tuesday, chatting with classmates until he joined four other kindergartners for a caped crusader event. He and the others sat in sleeping bags that were pulled up and down the gym floor and around obstacles by older students. Dressed in school clothes and a red cape, he was all smiles while Tulelake senior Kendra Ruppert did the work.
Other events had students and teachers running and jumping over cardboard buildings and competing in a dressing-like-a-superhero contest. Videos showing Miles’ adventures in San Francisco, prepared by teacher Matt Hartung and another edited by student Kaitlan Hartung from never-before-seen footage shot by Nick Scott, were shown on large screens and drew loud applause.
“He was more excited about this than he was about going to New York,” Nick said, explaining he and his family arrived home about 1 a.m. Tuesday. Miles, however, was up at 5 a.m. Tuesday because, “He was really excited for this.”