It was a crazy, energetic week in May with the Calgary School Physical Education Project.
We had over 350 children Kindergarten to grade six and 18-20 teachers attending the 3 day program at the Keeler School in Calgary Alberta. The principal Mr. Colin McCracken and all of the teachers joined in our Sports and Play sessions highlighting fitness, movement, exercises, gymnastics, games, ball sports activities, hula hooping fun, bean bag balancing, yoga, races, tug-o-war, limbo and sports day sessions. A special seminar on fitness, health and sports activities was given in a private afternoon with the teachers. They were taught many different activities to be transferred over in their gym classes.
We have a different approach to teaching our programs and the hands-on physical demonstrations of the modules taught were so well received. Thanks to the teachers for being such great students and helping us with making a difference to these children. We had a blast and shared some amazing experiences with this school. We will truly miss their smiles and all the fun we have had.
We would like to thank our many sponsors, donors and volunteers who helped behind the scenes with the planning and preparation for this project. We have left behind some sports equipment, teacher education manual, Sports activity cards to make sure that the project keeps playing it forward as we departed the school. All the children received their own personal play booklet giving them countless ideas and activities to play at home along with a ball. Each child was given a certificate and sticker sheet highlighting the Sports activities taught in this project and we know they are proud of their gold medal, a reward for their super participation.
We are proud of this project and have many memories to take with us. A long hectic week, but worth every moment, the real thank you is given with a hug and a smile of a child. We are especially excited about teaching the teachers and giving them a library of material to continue to Play it Forward with so many special children in the future.
Yay for Play! Stay tuned for more news about our upcoming projects.
Testimonial Amber Mazur
In May, a lovely team of ladies came out to Keeler for three days from the charity Gymtastics Play it Forward Projects.
Play it Forward came out to Keeler and brought a bunch of free sports-related equipment with them for the school to keep including rubber balls, hula-hoops, beanbags, yoga bricks, pylons and yoga mats. In fact, we were given enough rubber balls for each student to have their own – this was incredible.
Play it Forward then spent an afternoon providing professional development for staff, going through a different way to approach elementary Phys Ed with a gymnastic approach. The volunteers went through different and creative ways to set up stretching stations, and reviewed different ways to motivate kids.
Play it Forward then spent two and a half days working with our teachers alongside of their kids implementing new ways to be active. These activities included non-competitive obstacle courses, parachute games, gymnastics-inspired activities and team building fun. There were cheers, smiles, and at the end, everyone was a winner.
For me, my favourite take-a-way was using the hula-hoops as a classroom management technique. Hoops were placed on the gym floor and used as a student’s “home base”. This made it easy to spread kids out and to organise them for activities. I also enjoyed using the hula-hoop as a steering wheel in a car for warm-up, and cleaning them up by piling them one on top of another around on e of the volunteers.
The Play it Forward team was absolutely incredible to work with and learn from. I appreciated their hands-on approach and willingness to work with every student in our school.
Thank-you Play it Forward! Amber Mazur – Learning Commons Teacher
Testimonial Heather Miller
Having the Play-it-Forward program spend a week at our school was an amazing experience for students of all ages and their teachers! The instructors got us all up and moving, and most importantly, working together. The teaching staff was given new and exciting ideas to implement with students, and the students got to try new types of activities and equipment. The enthusiasm that the program brought to our school community was infectious, as students couldn’t wait to see what each day had in store for them and which new skills they would get to try out!
Play-it-Forward also provided a staff in-service which was very informative, and served as a great team building experience for our staff. We learned about the importance of play and movement, and creative new ways to get students engaged in physical activity. Our Physical Education program as a whole has benefitted from our experience with the Play-it-Forward program.
Heather Miller Kindergarten
Testimonial Colin McCracken
Play if Forward came to Keeler towards the end of May, 2015. Though I knew in advance what the program would entail, the experienced surpassed my expectations. Darlene and her team energized the entire school population (teachers and students), and helped them feel successful through organized activities that helped improve our fitness levels. Not only was this an incredible experience for the students, but the gift to our teachers was incredible. Darlene and her team left our teachers with numerous ideas, not only about engaging students in physical activity, but also about using physical activity as a way to build relationships with some of our toughest students. I highly recommend Play it Forward. It has benefitted our staff greatly.
Colin McCracken / Principal