College of Education Holds 12th Annual Grade School Program
(Oct. 30, 2012) Every October for the past twelve years, hundreds of third graders from Richmond Hill Elementary School have come to the Armstrong Sports Center to play games and practice skills needed for the Fitnessgram- a physical assessment completed by all students in Georgia public schools. Armstrong's physical education majors divide the students into groups and lead them through 12 educational stations.
“It's a two day field trip--half of the third graders came yesterday and the other half today. It's a three hour program that helps the children in cardio, flexibility and strength in game form,” said Lynn Roberts, professor of health and physical education and coordinator of the annual event. “The majors get to use what they learn in the classroom and implement it in a real life experience. It's helpful because sometimes you plan something, and you think it's really great, but when you try to teach it to someone else, you realize it doesn't work as well as you thought it would. It teaches our Armstrong students to be quick on their feet.”
One station was spaceship tag yoga; a game of tag with a twist. Once they were tagged, the students were asked to do a yoga pose while they were “frozen.” Other creative takes on traditional games included hula hut bowling and push-up/sit-up dodge ball.
“They are working on target practice, teamwork and endurance,” said Cam Rutledge, health and physical education major. “They don't realize the skillset they're learning because they're too busy having fun. They get really into it. It's amazing what third graders can surprise you with when you just let them do their own thing.”
“The program is wonderful,” said Whitney Gale, third grade teacher at Richmond Hill Elementary. “The Armstrong students do a good job, and it makes an impression on the kids. They want to play these games at recess. Parents tell me that they have been talking about what they learn here at home.”
The College of Education is working to expand this program to middle school grades as well. Last spring a small group of students from Charles Ellis Middle School came to learn about health, nutrition and bullying. Roberts has plans for another group to come back in the Spring 2013 semester and continue to grow the program.
-Written by Ella Greer '14, Marketing and Communications student worker