It is probably fair to say that for many children the worst class is P.E., also known as gym class or physical education. The negative stereotype of the furious gym teacher humiliating the students who aren’t as fit and in shape as the other students is a trope that has been shown over and over again in books, movies, and tv shows. While there is probably some truth to the stereotype, not all gym classes are like this and there are many that are trying to change the way students and parents see physical education. One program is approaching this in an inspired manner in an attempt to change preconceptions, combining traditional physical education with something new and interesting: circus training.
A local elementary school in Kentucky, the Cornerstone Montessori school in Fort Thomas, has paired with Circus Mojo, a local circus and clown training organization that works with both children and adults. The goal of the partnership is to both get kids interested in being healthy and athletic while simultaneously showing that sports aren’t the only way to get exercise and keeping healthy. The two organizations are also working together to help teach the kids more than just how to be healthy, they are also focusing on teamwork and how trying your best is more important than succeeding. Surprisingly, circus training is used in conjunction with more traditional physical education in many countries around the world, along with other non-traditional activities such as gymnastics. In fact, Finland was the first and most well-known example of this sort of partnership and they have the success stories to back up how effective it can be. Hopefully this means that more schools and organizations will begin to look into more non-traditional sources of exercise and inspiration for children around the country.
If you’d like to read more, the link is here.