Sheboygan Area School District (SASD) students at the Early Learning Center and South High School have paired up in a semester-long project involving instructional Physical Education. Four-year-old kindergarten (4K) students were paired with a high school ‘PE Buddy’ who volunteered during the 4K PE class to offer guidance and leadership while helping the younger students to acquire basic motor skills, learn to follow directions and interact positively within a movement setting. The volunteer work gave the older students a chance at involvement with ‘authentic’ learning in a real life setting.
The project was an outgrowth of SHAPE America National Physical Education Association goals and campaign to promote physical and health literacy for the nation’s 50 Million who will become graduates by 2029.
South High School Principal, Mike Trimberger, approved the release of students to participate in the project said, “This type of involvement offers authentic learning and helps prepare our students for real life future work settings.” Kris Fritz, lifelong SHAPE member and Physical Education teacher at the Early Learning Center shared, “I wanted to do something that would support my National PE “50 Million” initiative and that would directly impact student learning.”
To celebrate the success of the project, the group ate a healthy lunch together after planning the meal with a SASD nutrition representative, Amy Giffin. The MyPlate concept was endorsed with the South students choosing the grain and protein components and the 4K students choosing the fruit and vegetable to accompany the meal.
Participants wore their green “50 Million” t-shirts provided by St. Nick’s Outreach Program coordinator, Mary Paluchniak. Everyone was presented with a certificate of completion and South High School students received a letter of commendation for their work. Head Start students were given the book “Two Bites” emphasizing the need to try new foods and eat healthy that was provided by Health & Human Services dietician, Laura Graney.
“It has been a pleasure to see how engaged the South students have been and realize how beneficial this experience has been for all”, said Head Start teacher, Julie Butler. Obviously the program is reaching the intended goal, as a consensus decision was made to continue to work together on Tuesdays during second semester.
Below: South High student Mai Ka Yeng Cha (left) with Nataliya Colter and Sophia Becker doing throwing practice.