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Challenge accepted – nearly 300 RCS parents join students in PE class

A group of parents stand with their children in PE class.

It was a tiring and sweaty week for parents in the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk School District where learning and fun extended beyond the students as nearly 300 parents and family members joined their children during physical education (PE) class for “Take Your Parent to PE” week. Those accepting the challenge received a first-hand and interactive look at the innovative teaching happening in PE classes throughout the district.

A parent hands a gym ball to a student during a game.

Parent, Christine Snyder and her husband showed up ready to work at her middle school daughter’s class. “I think it’s a great opportunity for parents to see what is going on in the phys. ed program and a way to show our kids that we want them to have healthy lifestyles,” Snyder said.

A father sits between two kids as they stretch their legs. This first-ever RCS “Take Your Parent to PE” week was sponsored by Active Schools, a national movement aimed at ensuring that students are active for 60 minutes each day. PE teachers at each of the four RCS schools often stress this goal to their students and give them tools to become and remain active at home. The week provided parents some of these tools as well.

parents and students hold up a hula hoop together

As parents engaged in class, many noted that PE has changed a great deal since they were in school. Getting to see those changes was eye-opening.

“I’m impressed with the amount of physical activity they are doing in 35 minutes,” Priscilla Deban said after attending her grandson’s class at A.W. Becker.

parents and elementary students lay in a circle on the gym floor

It was hard to tell who was more excited about the special guests coming to class.

“This was my first time having gym with my dad so I’m really happy” Pieter B. Coeymans student Isabella Rosario said.

Her sentiments were echoed by other students around the district. A.W. Becker’s Kaitlyn Gardner could barely contain her excitement, waving and smiling ear-to-ear as her father walked into class.

a young girl holds her hands up to her face like binoculars and looks at her dad “The whole concept behind this program really is fantastic,” Kaitlyn’s father Nate said. “Getting parents involved not just in their kid’s school life, but also in the overall wellness of their children.”

Participating in class also gave parents insight into how their child acts in a different atmosphere, one parents don’t often get to observe.

“It’s important seeing how active they are and being able to see what they can and cannot do, because sometimes they don’t really show us what they can and can’t do at home,” father Peter Anderson said.

a group of parents and students stand together

Overall, parents were impressed with the class they took alongside their child and happy to take part in the event, not only to see what their child was learning, but also to be an active participant in their education.

a mom and son sit on the floor of the gym listening to the teacher“You have to be your kid’s advocate, you have to know what’s going on and it’s important to show your support,” parent Allisson Reed said. “If you care, they’ll care.”

The district hopes to allow more parents to gain insight into their child’s education by hosting more parent weeks in the future.

Check out coverage of the event from News Channel 13