The great outdoors comes indoors at Whittle Gym

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Students at Miller Avenue have enjoyed a few weeks of climbing, ziplining, crawling and swinging as the school gymnasium was transformed into Whittle Gym, a longstanding tradition.

Students maneuvered through a colorful forest of stuffed bears, trees, a campfire and more that represented the theme of the great outdoors as they worked to improve their stamina, strength and coordination during the physical education unit. Physical education teachers Josh Bonventre and Katherine Carlson headed the assembly of the brightly colored obstacle course.

“Not only are there countless physical benefits from climbing such as improving muscular strength and endurance,” Carlson said, “our Whittle Gym unit also teaches and reinforces many character education skills including working together, encouraging one another, critical thinking, goal setting and problem solving.

The obstacle course also had another educational component. As part of a social studies unit, Alice Steinbrecher’s second-graders created decorative posterboards on America’s national parks. So as students navigated the climbing wall, wooden planks, ropes and ladders, they were surrounded by Hot Springs, the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone, among other national treasures.