Students at Evans Middle School are now rotating through three different classrooms as part of their physical education experience, thanks to a grant from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation.
Fitness equipment, including several cardio and weight machines, were purchased and installed over the summer in a gym balcony. The goal for teachers is to provide all students with a basic understanding of physical fitness. They want students to have a better understanding of the types of activities they can perform to help develop an active and healthy lifestyle. Since August, students in all grades have access to the new fitness center on a rotational basis. “It gives them something different to do,” said John Jaeger, a PE teacher who assisted in developing the grant request. “Students are enjoying it.”
The machines are combined with a variety of free weights, balance balls, weighted wands, resistance bands, jump ropes, etc. to create several stations that students rotate through during their class. The stations provide students with strength, resistance, cardio, and agility training.
Students rotate between the gym, a health classroom, and the fitness center during their six-day cycle calendar.
Students begin their class with a three minute walk/run, followed by some stretching. Then in groups of two, they rotate through the fitness center stations. “I like working out,” said Dakota Brooks, a sixth grader. A baseball player, he feels the class is helping him get stronger.
Sixth grader Braylon Griffiths likes lifting weights. “I feel stronger,” he said. He participates in a variety of activities, including basketball, football, track, and wrestling.
The weight machines are a good addition to the gym, according to sixth grader Katelin Valentine. “It’s challenging and way different than last year,” she said.