Middle school students assist with elementary gym classes


Alexa Davis

Seventh graders Olivia Henderson, Annabelle Komlos, and Malina Pelaia help first graders Mikaylee Kuntz and Josie Hall jump rope, during their gym class.

Dylan Scheel, Website & Managing Editor

Mr. Gene Matsook and Ms. Tami Smithmyer’s eighth-period gym classes have been helping Ms. Dana Gaertner, elementary gym teacher, with her first-grade gym classes. The seventh and eighth-grade students have been going down to the elementary school from 1:15 to 2:00 p.m., once a week. This program will go on for nine weeks from Oct 7-Dec 17 and every week will be focused on a different valuable life skill along with the rules and skills of a lesson or game.  

In the past few weeks, the seventh and eighth graders have been helping the first graders learn how to do different activities, such as hula hoops and jump rope. Each middle school student has been assigned two first grade “buddies” to work with. After every week the students in both grade levels will reflect on what worked well and what didn’t. They also reflect on what their favorite parts and strengths are.

According to Ms. Gaertner, the goal of this program is to help instill life skills and also to build connections with our middle school students and our elementary students. She also said that the middle school students have been doing fantastic mentoring elementary students. She believes this is a great experience for all the students involved. The first graders have been loving their time with the middle schoolers and have been learning a lot.

“Our favorite part of the class was when we did the scooter races with the big kids.” said first graders,  Beau Grunnagle, Isaac Mattern, and Mikaylee Kuntz. They also said that they always look forward to when the eighth graders come to their gym class. They also said that their favorite parts were when they did scooter races and jumped rope.

“It was a cool and new experience to get to be with the younger kids.” said Hayden Bender, eighth grader. Also he said he enjoyed when they did relay races and got to assist the kids in their gym class. He also stated that  it was a good change of pace from his usual gym class.