Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Embrace the Snow!

Featuring Guest Blogger: Tim McCord, PE4life Academy Director, Titusville, PA

With snow falling in epic proportions in 49 of our 50 states this year, isn't it time we take advantage of Mother Nature and get our students outside in the snow?

That’s the norm during the winter months at the PE4life Academy Training Center in Titusville, PA. Every winter, for over 30 years, physical education classes have been held outside in this northwest PA community with 6th grade students experiencing lessons in cross-country skiing. The basics are taught in the gymnasium first with outdoor experiences in fields adjacent to Titusville Middle School. A culminating activity is held at a neighboring park where students spend the morning traversing across open fields and up and down small hills.

Students learn not only to enjoy this activity but also that in terms of cardiovascular benefits, cross-country skiing is a front runner. The program is conducted through a partnership between the Titusville Area School District and the Titusville Leisure Services. Equipment has been in the program for years but with Titusville being awarded 2003 PEP Grant , additional ski equipment was purchased to update the existing equipment.

To supplement the cross-country ski program the Titusville PE4life Academy also has introduced their students to snowshoeing. Snowshoes were purchased through a Highmark Healthy High 5 grant, a Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield initiative. Students in 7th and 8th grade participate in snowshoe lessons that include hiking, traversing across snow mounds and even games of “snowshoe whiffle ball.” Snowshoeing is a great low-impact aerobic exercise.

Don’t feel that the winter months mean you have to be confined to the gymnasium for your activities. Follow the lead of the Titusville students and enjoy the snow!



Titusville Area School District in Titusville, Pennsylvania is home of the PE4life Academy Training Center.  To learn more about this program visit their website or contact PE4life to schedule a workshop.