P.E. keeps bod­ies in tune with minds

The Covington News - - COVCRYPT - ~ By Lisa Hughes

“One- one, two- one, three- one, four- one,” the chil­dren shout in uni­son while do­ing their jump­ing jacks or touch­ing their toes.

Phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion in the ele­men­tary schools in New­ton County has be­come more than an hour spent play­ing games while the teacher sits un­der a tree.

For the stu­dents it is ex­er­cis­ing to mu­sic, hula hoop­ing, team sports or play­ing ball with a friend. For the teach­ers, it is a chance to work on in- ser­vice train­ing while the chil­dren are at play.

“The pro­gram got started be­cause we wanted ev­ery ele­men­tary school child to have a chance to take PE. We didn’t have enough trained PE teach­ers, so we have 133 ju­niors and se­niors from the high school who serve as aides to the PE teach­ers,” said Jack Smal­ley, ath­letic di­rec­tor at New­ton County Com­pre­hen­sive High School, who heads up the sys­tem- wide phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram.

San­dra We­ber teaches phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion to stu­dents at East New­ton Ele­men­tary School, Heard- Mixon Ele­men­tary School and Mans­field Ele­men­tary School while Ellen Broad­nax teaches at Liv­ingston Ele­men­tary School. Deb­bie Strick­land and Nancy Thrasher teach at E. L. Fic­quett Ele­men­tary School, with Deb­bie Pen­der at Palmer Stone Ele­men­tary School and Pam Dew at Por­terdale Ele­men­tary School.

“Ev­ery child in New­ton County has 35 to 40 min­utes of phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion Tues­day through Fri­day. On Mon­days, the PE teach­ers go over the pro­gram with the stu­dent aides and plan what they’re go­ing to do for the next four days. On Mon­days, the class­room teach­ers teach them health. The ba­sic con­cept of the pro­gram is that a child’s mind is only as good as his body. It helps dis­ci­pline- wise in that they can blow off steam,” said Smal­ley.

At East New­ton Ele­men­tary School, stu­dent aides Sharon Shield, Jill O’Kel­ley, Gail Newsome and Anita Still claim the pro- gram helps the chil­dren “learn to share in group work.”

For the stu­dent aides who par­tic­i­pate in the “Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion Ap­pren­tice­ship” course, the pro­gram means aca­demic credit and an op­por­tu­nity to work with chil­dren.

“The pro­gram is coming along real fine. We’ve bought quite a bit of equip­ment and I think it’s go­ing real good,” said Smal­ley.

For the chil­dren, phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion not only means ex­er­cises, but a chance to jump rope with a friend, see how long you can hula hoop or sim­ply en­joy play­ing on the swings.

NOVEM­BER 26, 1974

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