Class offers firsts for students

Published 2:04 pm Thursday, May 26, 2016

Though this is the second year of Janet Green’s advanced Physical Education elective course at Prince Edward County High School, it’s posed many firsts for her students.

During the course, which has included orienteering, swimming, cooking out and building fire pits, many experienced kayaking and canoeing on the open water for the first time in their lives on Wilck’s Lake in Farmville.

The visit to the Wilck’s Lake Island was one that culminated the course taught by the veteran physical education and health educator.

Outdoor games, such as croquet, and biking along trails were part of the day.

“It’s amazing,” Green said of the student involvement in the course. “A lot of them haven’t done stuff like this … Maybe when they’re older, they’ll do it with their kids,” she said.

About 30 upperclassmen are enrolled in the course, which employs state standards of learning pertaining to teaching lifetime fitness and sports. The objective of the course is to get students outside, learning about activities in the outdoors.

A swimming unit was part of the course — one that 11th-grader Brian Moses was part of. It’s where he learned how to swim.

“Don’t be scared to try something new,” he said of his experience.

“It turned out to be (more fun) than I thought,” he said of swimming for the first time during the course. He said he was “a little bit” scared when first treading water.

“The more I did it, the easier it got.”

While at Wilck’s Lake Island, he canoed and kayaked — both first-time experiences for him and many other students, including Ontaria White.

“I love it. It’s the best gym class I’ve had since I’ve been in school,” he said.

“It was a fun experience. Something new,” student Cedric Hensley said. “She’s like a mentor, I guess you could say,” he said of Green.

According to Longwood University Professor Dr. Vonnie Colvin, who assists with the class, fishing, aerobics, volleyball, lacrosse and other sports make up the course.

“My goal is to teach sports that the students can do for a lifetime, teach to their families and eventually do with their children. I like to keep everyone as active as possible and open up their minds to new possibilities,” she said.

“The field trip to Wilck’s Lake by Ms. Green’s advanced physical education classes was incredible,” Colvin said.

“I had already observed them during swimming lessons at the YMCA, but they applied so much at Wilck’s Lake. The students practiced water safety and learned canoeing and kayaking. They practiced their bike safety and had an opportunity to ride on High Bridge Trail. This was a great learning experience for the students.”