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updated: 10/25/2011 7:52 AM

Students at Wheaton's Longfellow bowl with parents for fitness

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  • Kindergartner Jennifer Olson gets a ball as she bowls with her parents, Julie and Steve Olson, at Longfellow Elementary School in Wheaton. The bowling lanes, pins and ball were donated by Fox Bowl.

       Kindergartner Jennifer Olson gets a ball as she bowls with her parents, Julie and Steve Olson, at Longfellow Elementary School in Wheaton. The bowling lanes, pins and ball were donated by Fox Bowl.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Kindergartner Micah Otts hangs out as he waits for his turn to bowl. Kids bowled with their parents at Longfellow Elementary School in Wheaton.

       Kindergartner Micah Otts hangs out as he waits for his turn to bowl. Kids bowled with their parents at Longfellow Elementary School in Wheaton.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Elissa Schauer bowls as her fifth-grade son, Jacob, looks on.

       Elissa Schauer bowls as her fifth-grade son, Jacob, looks on.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Fifth-grader Joseph Gaither reacts as the pins go down as his dad, Joseph Sr., look on.

       Fifth-grader Joseph Gaither reacts as the pins go down as his dad, Joseph Sr., look on.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 

Students at Wheaton's Longfellow Elementary School recently had a special day in gym class: a day of bowling with their parents.

Gym teacher Barb Williams, who has taught at the school for 17 years, says she opens the class to a two-week bowling unit to give the parents a chance to see what their children have learned during their school day.

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"These kids are just excited that their parents are entering their world," she said, as kids came up to her with crossed arms telling her they had bowled a strike.

"And now they get to see their parents become a part of that world."

The students learn the basics during the class. After teaching them the "bunny ear" technique of holding a bowling ball, Williams then talks about the approach to the lane.

It is these basic lessons the students show off to their parents when they visit.

"It's a good parent-child activity," said Ann Wakeman, a Wheaton resident whose son, Joe, attends kindergarten at the school. "They show what they learn and have a fun morning."

But aside from the family bonding experience, Wakeman said it also represents the school's emphasis on physical fitness.

"They bring home what they learn and they promote healthy fun," she said. "They promote physical fitness in a fun way."

With more schools caught up in budget deficits and forced to make up the difference in physical education classes, among other areas, Williams said she felt fortunate to work at Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200, which continues to set aside time for gym class ever day.

"Many districts don't have that," she said. "This district believes physical fitness is important."

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