The bell signifying the start of class rings, and a group of students file their way into their adaptive physical education class with mats in hand. But this isn’t an ordinary class – and those are no ordinary mats.
The mats, and the associated adaptive physical education program Canon-McMillan High School students began taking in March, was developed by Eruption Athletics. The funding to bring the innovative program to CMHS came from a generous donation from a local business owner through the Canon-McMillan Horizon Foundation.
Gerard “Gerry” O’Hare, owner of Jeffreys Drug Store, funded the program offering for Canon-McMilan students who take an adaptive physical education class.
After the students make their way into class, their teacher, Miss Lara Antis, leads them through a series of exercises sizes using the mat, which has different areas marked with colorful numbers to help guide them through the movements.
The result is a high-energy class with lots of smiles – all while students are breaking a sweat.
Antis said the Eruption Athletics program surprised her in more ways than one.
“Within the first week, I noticed an increase in excitement and activity and it took no time at all for students to catch on,” she said. “The students eyes light up with the bright colored number of the pad, and every exercise that was introduced to them they were able to complete within the first three minutes.”
District director of special education Becky Lieb added that the program, while fitness-based, also helps reinforce other skills, including socialization and following instructions.
Another advantage of the program, she said, is that is allows her and other instructors to gauge students’ progress in real ways.
“We’re excited to see the results over time and also see what our students retain over summer break!” Lieb said.