Game ON

Game Off
by JAK’s guest mom blogger from Racine, Carol Rogers

Do I have gym today?

I want to play basketball again!

Can we play Mr. Fox?

I love gym!

I forgot my gym shoes.

I didn’t know I had gym today.

Everyday when I go to work I hear comments similar to these. I’m a gym teacher.

Kids often rank gym class as one of their favorites, right up there with recess and nachos for lunch! Having fun is a huge bonus to my job, but it’s really about physically educating children. There are always obstacles in education and one obstacle that I face is my students have gym once every 3 days.  Not only is it not often enough (save that for another time),it also means that they do not have gym on the same day every week.  This 3-day rotation is directly related to the second obstacle: “Oops, I forgot my gym shoes”.  Whether it’s warm or cold, I rarely have a class where everyone is wearing tennis shoes. And this presents the third obstacle; students are not allowed to participate in gym class without tennis shoes.  Flip flops, clogs, and boots simply put, are unsafe for Phy Ed. Read More

Asking an elementary student to sit out gym class after gym class, is heart breaking for them, as well as me.  Most students simply forget their shoes, but a handful do not even own a pair.

I have sent notes home, made students sit out, commented on their report cards… nothing makes a difference for some.

Fifty-eight percent of Racine Unified students qualify for free or reduced lunch.  Racine is also one of the poorest districts in the state next to the Milwaukee School District. Perhaps you are one of those families who have had to put the gym shoe purchase on the back burner in order to put food on the front burner. Or you are not aware of what I see as no gym shoe dilemma.  That’s why I am asking for your help.

I am in need of gently used athletic shoes in kid sizes 12 to 3 and adult 5-7 to outfit my gym kids for class.  I want to get them off the sidelines and onto the courts and fields.  (And they wish to be there too!)  PLEASE HELP and let the KIDS PLAY!  Shoes collected will be used for Phy Ed class and additional pairs will be given to our school social workers and shared with other schools.

Please bring your shoes to the PARK & RECREATION EXPO  on Saturday, April 30th from 11am – 3pm at Humble Park,  2200 Blaine Ave, Racine, WI 53405 and again on Saturday, May 14th from 11am -3pm at the SUMMER ACTIVITIES FAIR, being held at Racine’s Festival Hall.  Please help and support our community’s kids with the“Game On: Help Them Play” gym shoe drive.

More on the SUMMER ACTIVITIES FAIR: http://www.SummerActivitiesFair.info

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