Grant gets kids up and moving

New grant gets kids up and moving
Posted on 04/29/2021
The well-known proverb says that necessity is the mother of invention. During the pandemic, physical education teachers in the Binghamton City School District have been facing challenges teaching students who are learning at home. Whether it was teaching students how to make balls out of hooded sweatshirts, fashioning hockey sticks from brooms or creating lacrosse sticks from cereal boxes affixed to paper towel rolls, these educators have been going out of their way to make sure kids were getting physical activity while at home.

“At the start of the year we would hear from students that our students didn’t have balls or even jump ropes,” Calvin Coolidge Physical Education Teacher Todd Bryant said. “That made it difficult for these students to participate in our lessons and ultimately forced us to get creative to make sure that everyone had access, even if it meant making homemade equipment.”
Recently the district received a $44,000 “Get up and Move” grant from the Binghamton City Schools Foundation and Dick’s Sporting Goods, to provide athletic equipment for each student to have at their homes.

“We, as a board, were thrilled to find something we could fund that would go to every student in the district,” President of the BCS Foundation, Jennifer Corby said. “We know the PE teachers worked very hard to get creative with their lesson plans and to keep the students moving during the challenges of the pandemic. This has been such a difficult time to both teach and learn and being able to fund something that would enhance everyone’s experience was terrific!”

Students in kindergarten through fifth grade were given a five-inch playground ball and a jump rope and students in sixth through twelfth grade received an athletic resistance band.

“The students were really excited that they got to keep these items,” said Calvin Coolidge Physical Education Teacher Adana Brauer. “It is nice because even if there are multiple kids in one home, each kid gets their own piece of equipment and they don’t have to fight over items.”
District wide, physical education teachers have incorporated these items into their curriculum. They have created activities in Google Classrooms that students can download or access at home to stay active.

“The pandemic has forced us to re-think how we teach our students and provided new opportunities for us to create fun lessons for students and their families.” East Middle School Physical Education Teacher Jenise Soules said. “We have had a lot of fun putting together these videos and lessons.”

“When this year started, we didn’t know what it would look like and we immediately knew we were going to have a problem and that was going to be access to our usual equipment,” East Middle School Physical Education Teacher, Tyler Rodriquez said. “Then we heard that we were going to receive this equipment and it opened up so many more options for us. The kids deserve it and I think it’s just great that they were given the opportunity to have something of their own.
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