By Candice Evans
The Daily Times
SALISBURY, MD---As the nation celebrates American Education Week, Salisbury University is not forgetting those home-school students itching to get in the game with their sneakers and gym shorts for a class that will keep them, literally, on their feet.
The school's Health, Physical Education and Human Performance Department offers a weekly physical education class for home-schooled students ages 4 to 17 each semester.
Robert Martin, first-year program director, expresses enthusiasm for the class.
"It's a nice partnership because it provides a working and team environment," for kids and SU students, who offer their assist in the program, he said.
One hundred home-schoolers are currently enrolled, learning everything from the basics of throwing, catching and running to team sports. The kids are placed into five age groups: 4 to 5, 6 to 7, 8 to 9, 10 to 12, and 13 to 18, and will be escorted each week to a designated area in the gym.
The classes are held every Tuesday from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. for 14 weeks catering to the each child's needs.
"Young children will learn early skill experience and momentum concepts, older children will become more involved with sports and fitness," Martin said.
Both Martin and Thomas Stitcher, SU professor and program instructor for 33 years, will be in attendance observing the physical education majors that will conduct and plan lessons for the class.
"Our kids organize it incredibly. We just do the administrative work," he said.
This program is beneficial not only to the home-schoolers but the students as well.
Stacey Krebs, a 19-year-old SU sophomore, has participated in five classes so far.
Krebs said, "Having it in combination with other classes is a perfect addition to be able to use the skills we learned."
She said the biggest challenge for her is controlling the classroom, but this program "helps us learn about management."
Krebs's next movement activities class will teach 7 and 8 year olds, skills such as "jumping over boxes and focusing on balance."
"I really enjoy teaching younger kids," she said. "They sometimes don't understand what you're trying to say all the time, but it's rewarding to see a child learn what you're trying to teach them."
All of these students aspire to be physical education teachers in the future and this allows them to gain insight into their field of work.
Krebs would have "never considered (teaching young children) until I taught this class."
The program in the past, under the instruction of Grady Armstrong, who retired last year, has had as many as 150 students, Martin said.
Home-school parents and kids have given positive feedback, thanking SU for having this program, he said.
The program fee is $10 per child.
Reprinted courtesy of The DailyTimes