A School Day in the Park

May 23, 2012

It’s a balancing act for teachers and parents of school children.  There’s the need for in class instruction, while allowing them to blow off some steam at the end of the school year.  A clear spring day found hundreds of students playing games in Lexington’s Woodland Park.   The annual fun day included singing in Spanish and amounts to a three hour recess from classes at Lexington’s Maxwell Elementary.  Tom Davis, who’s Maxwell’s Physical Education teacher, is retiring after 31 years at the downtown school.  Davis says the kids crave exercise

“We’ll maybe do soccer for a couple of weeks, you know basketball, volleyball..and a whole lot of other cooperative activities…capture the flag..parachute…just something that to keep them active and keep them moving,” said Davis.

Davis says students at Maxwell get a recess every day but only one hour of physical education and health each week.  He says it’s not enough...

“Yes sir..would love to see more time, especially at the high school level..at some of the high schools are getting very little to no P.E. and it really shows…I think Kentucky is at the top as far as obesity,” added Davis.

Maxwell parent Rebecca Wren echoes the gym teacher’s sentiments.  Her daughter Caroline is completing her first year in kindergarten..

“There’s so many studies that show that doing things outside …brightens up this whole other part of your brain…so you even learn better of learn differently..when you have the other elements outside of it…a lot of Montessori programs hold classes outside because of that,” said Wren.

So, there were lots of happy, laughing children at Woodland park on Wednesday.  Was it the outdoor play or was it that summer vacation begins this weekend?  Probably, it was both.