By Angela Howard
If you can’t take the students to the skating rink every day, why not bring skating to the school? That’s exactly what Coach Jake Cline did. Coach Cline rented enough skates so that every child in 2nd through 5th Grade could skate during PE.
From Dec. 3 until the Christmas break, the gym was turned into a skating rink. Coach Cline said he wanted to teach the students a new skill that they could use to get exercise even when they are not at school. He wanted something different and something new. “Everyone plays basketball and stuff like that in class, but what about those students who don’t really like sports? This is a skill students can take with them outside of school. And skating is a dying art.”
The students thoroughly enjoyed themselves every day. Each day they were getting stronger and more balanced as they skated. The students started out learning to balance and skate on a mat. Then they progressed to skating around the gym holding on to a chair. Eventually, they let go and skated without any assistance. The students said they built confidence in their own abilities. They felt a great sense of accomplishment when they were able to skate without help.
When asked why they thought bringing skating to school was a good idea students gave the following answers:
- “It’s a great way to learn how to balance. And it’s fun!”
- “You get to teach your friends a new skill while enjoying yourself.”
- “It’s great exercise for your legs.”
- “When we go to a skating birthday party, we will already know how to skate.”
- “You have to really focus hard not to fall. That’s good.”
- “It makes PE fun.”
- “It’s neat to try something different.”
Coach Cline said this project has proven to be successful. Students have even asked their parents for skates for Christmas. Some asked because they enjoyed it so much while others asked for skates because they want to improve. Coach Cline is constantly trying to come up with innovative ways for students to get the exercise they need and enjoy themselves while they do it.