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Brownell students find 'pure joy' on roller skates

Brownell Elementary School physical education teacher Holly Gaylord recently found a way to keep her students engaged while helping them learn a new activity. 

"Not only was roller skating fun, the kids got a great cardiovascular workout," Gaylord said. "It was great for their balance, their core - trying to balance, and once they were getting it, their self-confidence began to rise."

Gaylord organized a roller skating unit for students by contracting with a company in Kansas City that delivered the roller skates, helmets and pads for a two-week period. Brownell was able to pay for the unit with award money it received during the "Fuel Up to Play 60" challenge.

Parents and community members volunteered on a daily basis to help students tie laces, buckle helmets and secure wrist pads. Students learned to: stand with skates on; skate safely; skate forward; fall safely; recover; and t-stance to keep from moving. Students started on mats and moved to the floor only if they wanted to.

"Our students had a blast. In fact, I am not sure I have ever witnessed such pure joy," Gaylord said. "Not only did many of them learn a new skill, they all shared lots of laughs, worked up a sweat and had a ton of fun."


Published: May 16, 2018, Updated: May 18, 2018

"Our students had a blast. In fact, I am not sure I have ever witnessed such pure joy."

Holly Gaylord, Brownell Elementary physical education teacher