No Gym, No Problem
At least not for now!
Twelve of those Churches have schools operated by them with student attendance ranging from six to fifty-five. Each school is run by the local church or churches in its constituency, and the budget as well as the number of teachers and physical plant size varies from place to place. Seven of these schools have gymnasiums attached or available to them. That leaves five schools with no available onsite gym. What can those teachers do with their kids when the weather is so cold, it’s dangerous to go outside?
This year the Duluth church’s Stone Ridge SDA Christian School (SRSDACS) has experienced more days than usual that match the “too cold to go outside” criteria. As teachers know, just because it’s too cold to go out does not mean that the students have any less energy. Thankfully there’s art, but honestly, you can keep them painting, drawing or creating for only so long; at some point they are going to need a change. Yes, Spirit Days is a great break from the monotony of indoor play, but there are still recesses that need to be had. What do you do with active kids to burn off their energy so they can sit still long enough to continue to learn to read, write and understand both spiritual and historical lessons?
Mr. Carlson has made some exciting progress in the problem of “big play value in a small play area” conundrum. He has added stations of play to the elementary classroom, with a foosball station, a basketball station and a Lacrosse station. The kids are able to cycle through the various stations of play getting a chance to use both eye-hand coordination and large muscle movements. The students were excited by the different opportunities for play, but Mr. Carlson wasn’t completely satisfied.
He was searching for something to fill in the “gaps” and something that each child could do individually or with a partner. Since SRSDACS has a growing Kindergarten, as well as, grades one through eight, skill and ability are very disparate. What could he add that would fit all the students’ needs? While discussing his search for this elusive something one of the church’s members suggested a Wii. What a great idea; Wii Fit would be exactly what he needed. He put out the word to the church that he was looking for a Wii for the school and sure enough someone had one in their basement that they were willing to sell. The school now owns a Wii with several games and accessories. Now on days too cold to go outside, you can hear the happy noise of kids playing basketball, foosball or tennis, bowling or jogging or any other of a number of Wii games.
“Sometimes I feel we’re training for the gold medal in swimming (in a bathtub) but at least we’re getting wet! Of course a full-fledged gymnasium would be the best, but between now and that time, we’ve solved the problem of energetic play in a small area,” Carlson says.
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