Reynoldsburg News

'Olympic games' keep students active


The snow-covered campuses at Taylor Road and Slate Ridge elementary schools look like the perfect sites for winter games, but the events that began Feb. 10 were "inside versions" of the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Plus, they were held in warm gymnasiums, physical education teacher Kathy Brown said.

The list of events included bobsled races, hockey, curling and a biathlon.

"The competition is a chance to draw awareness to this world event," she said. "As always, teamwork, sportsmanship and an appreciation for our competitors will be stressed in our games, as they are at the 22nd Winter Olympics.

"It's also a fun, creative way to continue physical education standards through a break in the regular curriculum," Brown said.

The games will span two weeks at both elementary schools.

In the bobsled races, two students ride on top of a mat balanced on two scooters, while two other students push them through a designated course.

The cross-country skiing event involves three students using a "buddy walker" made of two boards with straps for three people to place their feet in, so they can maneuver a course as a trio.

Brown said the biathlon involves two disciplines.

"Ours will be a walking a distance on (foam) Big Feet and then firing a Nerf crossbow at plastic bowling pins in an attempt to knock down as many pins as possible with two shots," she said. "First- and second-grade students will roll a ball at the pins in lieu of using the crossbow."

She said the curling event is similar to bocce or shuffleboard, with students rolling yarn balls at three concentric circles as the target. Each circle has a different point value.

The schools' version of hockey will be an individual event instead of a team activity, with students hitting hockey pucks into a net.

"Each class will compete with the other classes in their grade level and every class will earn a medal at the conclusion of the events," Brown said.

Taylor Road Principal Darrell Propst said Brown's creative take on teaching makes physical fitness fun for all the students.

"She has provided awesome health and fitness opportunities like this to a whole generation of students," he said. "She has taught archery skills and even teaches them to roller skate."

Brown said students have been following the Sochi Olympics since the games began, with information about the opening ceremonies, the Olympic oath, creed and flag given each day during the morning announcements.

"Bulletin boards are also up to share information and pictures as the games occur," she said.

Propst said Brown will retire when the school year ends, after working with Reynoldsburg City Schools since 1997.

"I have never worked with a physical education teacher like Kathy Brown and she will be sorely missed," he said.

Brown said she has enjoyed her work at both elementary schools.

"I have been fortunate to be a part of two elementary schools with very dedicated staff members," she said. "I will miss working with them and I will greatly miss the students and their energy and enthusiasm. They have helped keep me young."