(West Lebanon, Indiana): For the past 2-1/2 years, I have been fortunate enough to be the principal evaluator for the Metropolitan School District of Warren Township’s (MSD) Carol M. White PEP Grant. They have been able to completely transform their “old” physical education program into a standards-based instructional program with a variety of new technology, additional staff development, increased student access to physical activity venues (i.e., before and after-school, summer), and purposeful student tracking and assessment.
PE4Life Presentation: Several weeks ago, I was invited by Sandy Frasch, MSD’s PEP Grant Coordinator, to attend an all-day workshop led by Paul Zentarski (PE4Life/Napersville, IL). The workshop was held at Seeger Jr-Sr High School in West Lebanon, Indiana. The primary purpose of Paul’s workshop was to spread the “good news” of the many benefits of physical education, especially in relationship to academic outcomes – increased attention in class, decreased discipline referrals, and increased academic test scores. The workshop was attended by K-12 physical education teachers, special educators, school counselors, and core content (math, language arts, science) educators.
Seeger’s PAC: Afterwards, Sandy provided us with a close-up tour of the school’s PAC – Physical Activity Center. This state-of-the-art physical education facility has three full-size basketball courts surrounded by an indoor track. “Wow,” the numerous visitors exclaimed as we stepped into the PAC. “Nice facility,” “Outstanding!,” “I’d trade you in an instant!” Each basketball court is divided by retractable gym curtains (usually, these are left up as the classes take advantage of the neat indoor track that runs around the perimeter of the PAC), the entire gym floor shimmered in the ambient light, and the large Student Fitness Center stood out like a “fitness candy store” calling – “Come in, get fit, and have fun too!”
Student Fitness Center: The Student Fitness Center is at the entrance of the PAC, filled with cardiovascular fitness and weight/strength equipment. Equipment includes – Hammer Strength weight racks, Life Fitness strength stations and treadmills, and other student-friendly fitness equipment.
Dance/Aerobics Room: In addition to the student fitness center, students also have access to a dance/aerobics room that has flat screen TVs for additional group aerobic activities.
Closing: Sandy, thanks for the invitation! I’ll be back soon to wrap-up your final 2009 PEP Grant report. —- Artie