Having fun while learning in the snow

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By Special to the Monitor

Barranca Mesa Elementary School PE teacher Lynne Higdon was awarded $1,000 last school year by the LAPS Foundation for the purchase of snowshoe equipment for students in grades four, five and six.

When the flakes were flying earlier this winter, 180 students enjoyed the new snowshoes.

Higdon said, “My goal was to introduce students to an outdoor exercise in hopes that they will choose to get out in the winter to play.”  

One of the goals of physical education in public schools is to allow students to try lifetime fitness activities so that they might choose a healthy lifestyle in their adult life.  

Higdon said that she tries to let students experience a lot of different activities in the hopes that they will find some that they like and will continue to participate in them throughout their lives.  

The students and Higdon had a great time getting out and walking in the snow.  Two teachers also came out and tried out this new exercise.

One of the teachers is planning on buying a pair of snowshoes and one recently went on a snowshoe walk at the Valles Caldera National Preserve after trying them for the first time at school.  

As expected, Higdon showed the children that snowshoeing was good exercise, easy to do and lots of fun.  

She also put the snowshoes out on the playground during recess for students to use on snowy days.

This proved to be very effective, since the students are not allowed to play in snow unless they are wearing snow boots.  

As a result, many students stand on the paved area of the playground and don’t do anything.  

With the snowshoes available, they were able to get out and play.  

Some students asked where they could purchase a pair for use at home.

Higdon said, “Active kids are happy kids.  As students, they are ready to learn when they get back in the classroom after some exercise.”

The LAPS Foundation has awarded more than $10,000 in teacher grants since it began the program last year.

To see details about each of the grants, visit www.lapsfoundation.com.