It may all be fun and games, but a program that pairs University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point physical education majors with young e-learners at the Stevens Point YMCA is beneficial for all involved.
The university students have been spending a few hours at the YMCA each Wednesday this semester to help create physical activities and games for K-6 students, who are too young to be home alone during the Stevens Point school district’s virtual learning day.
As part of their “Teaching Experience in Elementary Physical Education” course this semester, the UW-Stevens Point students act as physical education teachers, planning fun lessons and games, organizing the students’ activities and learning what it takes to adjust activities if needed.
Their class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays, so on Wednesdays the university students come to the YMCA on their own time.
“Having the UWSP practicum students with us has been invaluable,” said Sharon Johnson, YMCA CEO. The students provide fun, educational activities for the e-learners, and it gives the YMCA teaching staff extra time for their own planning as well as a break in their day.
The experience is helping the university students apply their skills, learn to adjust on the fly and be creative, said Ann Hockett, a lecturer in physical education and course instructor. “They have done really well and get the chance to brainstorm and adapt as teachers.”
“It really makes my day,” said Kellie Morgan, a senior physical education major from Bruce, Wis. “Spending time with these kids is really the greatest thing in the world. They have so much energy, and it radiates back to us. It makes me really happy when I see them succeed.”