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GBRC gets the jump on cooking up summer fun
Koch with jumpropers
Debbie Koch, instructor of the Great Bend Rec Centers Jump Rope Inc. class helps girls first learn the basics of individual jumping. By the end of the class, her students will have a chance to try double-dutch jumping. - photo by Veronica Coons

School is out for summer, but that doesn’t mean Great Bend kids can’t keep learning--and having a great time in the bargain. The Great Bend Recreation Center kicked off the 2012 summer recreation classes the second week of June. Two popular classes, Kids Can Cook and Jump Rope Inc., gave kids a chance to gain skills in the kitchen, and polish skills on the playground.
Jennifer Leiker,a recreation center instructor, and her helpers will teach not only cooking, but good nutrition as she walks the class through how to make a variety of simple meals. Thursday morning, June 7, was the first in the four week long class where students ages six through 12 made spaghetti with meatballs and garlic bread. The garlic bread was a hit with the kids, but they all agreed making meatballs was the most fun. After the group finished preparing and sharing their meal, they headed out to the playground at Lincoln elementary to burn off some energy before heading home. On Thursday, June 14, kids will learn how to make treats in the class Cookies...Yum! offered at Lincoln in the afternoon from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.
Over at the Great Bend Activity Center, Debbie Koch taught a group of girls ages--the basics of jump roping. Girls stepped on their ropes, and then brought their hands up under their arms to make sure ropes were the right length. Koch made sure everyone had a properly adjust rope, and then turned on the music, and girls began practicing jumps, hops and crisscrosses to lively music. Koch says the class offers a combination of fitness and fun.
“We want kids to be active and fit and jumping rope is an extremely good activity for kids,” she said. Some of the benefits include coordination, gets their hearts pumping. In high school, a lot of the coaches use jump roping as part of their fitness training, and these girls will have a jump on the other kids,she added.
Some of the girls are repeat students, while others are there for the first time.
“Each year they get better and better,” Koch said. “Some of them last year couldn’t jump rope yet, but I see they’ve practiced and they just keep getting better and better.”
For the first class, Koch taught basic skills for individual jumping. At the second class the girls will learn the basics of group jumping and by the third class, Kock hopes to introduce them to double-dutch jumping, where two girls turn two different ropes simultaneously and the jumper or jumpers do their best to skip ropes without getting tangled.
Summer Recreation classes will be ongoing through the month of June and part of July.