Center for Academic Service - Learning

University of Wisconsin-Superior

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Belknap and Catlin
P.O. Box 2000
Superior, WI 54880

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Center for Academic Service - Learning

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Academic Service-Learning Students Help at Track-O-Rama

Posted on Mar 30, 2011
Academic Service-Learning integrated in the Health and Wellness Track-O-Rama
click to enlarge
Academic Service-Learning Students Help at Track-O-Rama

© 2011 Mike Raunio

More than 300 Superior fifth-graders took part in fitness activities and learned about healthy lifestyles at the annual Track-o-Rama held March 17 in the Marcovich Wellness Center at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

Ray Reinertsen's Health and Wellness class which has a component tied in with the Center for Academic Service-Learning Department, took part in the daylong event along with other University of Wisconsin-Superior students.

Academic Service-Learning is an innovative teaching strategy that provides students with opportunities to deepen their knowledge and learn new skills by matching academic goals to the needs of community organizations or small businesses. Students apply concepts and skills they learn in the classroom and give that knowledge back to the community.

Gabe, a student from Cathedral School, enjoyed the softball throw the most, but he also said how nicely the facility was set up, "It is really nice!"

The fifth-grade students took part in real track and field events in the field house. When not busy with events, spent their time in the halls of the MWC learning more about health and wellness from Reinertsen's students.

Janie Fouts, a teacher from Four Corners Elementary School, has been involved in Track-o-Rama for 15 years. Fouts likes that her students are able to interact with students from the six other schools, because next year all of the students will be going to the same middle school in Superior.

Playing with friends from other schools is one of Shawn, from Northern Lights Elementary School, favorite part of the day. "It is nice to get to know others," he said.

As part of their academic service-learning work, the UW-Superior students set up booths in the MWC lobby which featured fun activities that taught the fifth-graders health information they can use in their lives."

Each health fair booth offered a different fun activity, but all taught something that the students can use in their everyday lives.

Amanda Peterson, a UW-Superior student, who works for the Center for Academic Service-Learning and coordinated the health fair, said that the booths help the fifth-graders gain awareness of how important being healthy is and Track-o-Rama gives experience on competition.

In their booth, Helena Miller and Joel Phelps displayed a lab mannequin for the fifth-graders to take apart, explore, and learn about the purpose of the main organs.

Other booths featured: jump roping with a straw in mouth to show the effects of smoking, yoga, food pyramid matching, eating healthy, why milk really does a body good, setting life and health goals, and the importance of washing hands.

In past years, the event was held outdoors and was often canceled because of the weather. Since the field house was built in 2003, the event will go on even if it is snowing outside.

Parents of the fifth graders were invited to watch their children participate. "It's good for them to cheer on their teammates and get their body moving," said, Stephanie Geitner, a Four Corners parent.

At the end of the day, the schools battled in a tug o' war match to finish out the events.

News Contact: Britta Bloomquist | bbloomq3{atuws}
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