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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • McPherson elementary students learn to skate

  • Students at McPherson's elementary schools have been zooming around their gymnasiums slightly faster than normal for the past several days.
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  • Students at McPherson's elementary schools have been zooming around their gymnasiums slightly faster than normal for the past several days.
    During physical education class, they have tossed aside their tennis shoes, donned orange and tan roller skates and made many circular laps. It has become a well-liked unit among many who might not normally get this form of exercise.
    "They love this unit," Mija Stockman, Roosevelt Elementary School physical education teacher, said. "Most all of the kids wish it would last longer. They are very sad when it is finished."
    The unit is made possible through Skatetime, an Oklahoma-based company that provides the lace-up shoes and purple wrist guards. Because of the cost, the gear is brought only every other year, but the tradition has continued for more than two decades.
    Stockman said skating provides a number of fitness benefits, such as balance, coordination, strength and endurance. This is because, after learning the basics, the students are learning to skate forward and backward, balance on one foot, bend to touch the floor, typical skating games such as limbo and the "Hokey Pokey," switching directions and crossing over.
    "Over all, it's a total body workout," she said.
    In addition to fitness, the unit helps the students become more comfortable with skating.
    "I'm getting good at staking," second grader Shaylyn Grant said.
    Over the past week, Stockman said she has noticed many say they are falling less and feeling more confident.
    "Many kids are not exposed to skating and do not feel comfortable doing it, but many are invited to birthdays and have church events at the skating rink," Stockman said. "This unit hopefully gives them the basics and the confidence that they can skate."

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