Now students at the Alternative Learning Center (ALC) in Dubuque, Iowa, can receive physical education credit when they help senior citizens or people with disabilities with their landscaping needs.
Iowa school gives students P.E. credit for doing yard work for seniors and disabled
With the Summer upon us, many people will be out doing gardening and yard work, but for those in the community that cannot physically do that themselves, students at the Alternative Learning Center, in Dubuque, Iowa are stepping in to help. — As part of the school’s curriculum, students could choose from various activities during the last two weeks of school that will count towards their physical education credits. Volunteering to do yard work for people in the community is one of the options, and they’ve focused on helping seniors or those with disabilities.
The landscaping program has proven beneficial both for the students and the community
Students at the Alternative Learning Center (ALC) in Dubuque, Iowa, can now receive physical education credit when they help senior citizens or people with disabilities with their landscaping needs. However, those receiving help with their landscaping aren’t the only ones who benefit.
The school itself provides an alternative setting for junior and senior high school students who have struggled to succeed at more traditional schools. – reports Simplemost
These students have been identified as in danger of dropping out of school entirely. At ALC, they can focus on project-based and independent learning opportunities designed to get them back on the path toward graduation.
The landscaping program, in particular, has proven beneficial both for the students and the community. It has helped in building relationships, too, resulting in social invitations to the students from those they are working for. The students do whatever homeowners need for about two hours a day during the last few school weeks, including raking, pulling weeds, cleaning gutters, cutting bamboo — even tending to chicken coops.
The act of helping others is what makes the program so impactful and compelling
Tim Hitzler, a teacher at the school, told local news station KWWL that giving the students this option during the last two weeks of classes is a great opportunity for them to give back while getting a workout at the same time.
Typical yardwork activities — such as mowing the lawn, trimming hedges, raking leaves, chopping firewood and weeding the garden — can all offer a significant calorie burn as well as provide the benefits of your average cardio or strength-building workout.
Students can also choose from a number of other activities in order to fulfill their P.E. requirement, such as cleaning up golf courses or a river barge. But about 29 teens signed up for the service program altogether, with about 12 of those wanting to do yard work specifically. Hitzler believes that the act of helping others is what makes the program so impactful and compelling.
“The students aren’t typically too excited at the beginning but once they get involved and start doing the yard work they become more motivated,” said Hitzler. “What they really like is … helping people. They really like giving back to people and meeting the person.”
The program has proven so popular with the students that some of them choose to continue volunteering over the summer.
“I’ve had students that graduated that have come back to help,” Hitzler told People. “There’s something about helping people that really need it.”
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