Second Graders Climb Their Way to the Top

By: Althea Paul
By: Althea Paul

May 12, 2005

Hold on tight and don't let go, at least for 30 seconds. Second graders from Venable Elementary did just that today on their brand new climbing wall.

"We never had one before and everybody has been waiting for it," said Morgan, a second grader.

The addition is all thanks to a Nickelodeon 'Let's Just Play' grant the school received earlier this year. Venable was just one of eighty-one schools to get funding for their proposal, a climbing club project.

"We've been waiting for this since January, so we're very excited," said Francesca Zavacky, the Venable Physical Education teacher. In P.E. class, the students paired up, each taking turns spotting and then going up the wall.

"I never got to climb a climbing wall before," Raylaja Waller, a second grader.

"It's really fun and you can climb it, added student Eve Allen.

Not only does the grant allow students at Venable to have fun with the wall, but it also provides a great form of exercise. That's one of the main reasons Zavacky wanted the wall--to help keep students in shape.

"They're going to be improving their upper body strength, core strength, lower body strength. They're going to improve their flexibility as they reach from hold to hold," said Zavacky.

The little climbers said they're already starting to feel the burn. "[When you're exercising] you feel pain in your arms and legs," explained Waller.

"You can get strong and you can grow up better," said student Eli Norris.

Zavacky also said the activity helps students with decision making. With all the benefits it's no wonder some already can't get enough.

"I just wish we can do it everyday," said Morgan.

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