Great Bend Regional Hospital is helping Park Elementary School students to stay active. The hospital provided a donation that is for the purchase of playground equipment, as well as indoor activity games. New jump ropes, balls and activity games are expected to arrive at the school in about a week.
The donation coincides with the quest of Park administrators to teach students different games so that they stay active during recess. That effort has made a marked difference, compared to the first of the year, said Park Elementary Principal Phil Heeke.
“Now you see kids playing all over and really using their recess time,” said Heeke. “They are playing a game, or actively doing something that helps them become physically fit and to expend excess energy so that they can get back into the classroom where learning takes place. We really value the recess time.”
In order to engage students in a variety of activities, Physical Education Teacher Tom Grieb taught students games like tether ball, four-square, and two-square. “No-detention parties” became a method where students earned breaks from the classroom to learn game rules on the playground.
Indoor recess presents challenges to activities. Family Support Specialist Alana Blessing explained that Park School utilizes indoor activity games that require students to use their arms, legs and minds.
“Students get very antsy during indoor recess, so we need to be creative in the activities that we do,” said Blessing. “The indoor games we are purchasing will help us to do that.”
The donation has special meaning to GBRH’s Jacquie Disque, OB/Peds Nurse Supervisor. She served as a teacher’s aide at Park Elementary School before becoming a nurse. She understands the impact the donation will have on the students.
“They are learning how to work together, play together and get along,” said Disque. “They are also learning how to develop healthy habits and to be fit kids. That goes back to enhancing performances in the classroom with the discipline and the rules that they learn from recess activities.”