Greene County Students Exercise Without Gym

By: Sarah Batista
By: Sarah Batista

March 15, 2006

Students at William Monroe Middle School in Greene County are working around not having a gym this school year. The school is working around building a new one, and gym class has turned a little creative.

Last year, the school turned their run-down gym into a maintenance building and began building a new one. Left with no gym at all this year, P.E. Teacher Mike Arrington turned to alternative ways of exercise.

"Whatever we can get the kids to move and do within a classroom environment we'll do," said Arrington.

Arrington incorporated video games like Dance Dance Revolution into his class. He says it's a fun way to get the kids moving. Instead of using hand controls, two students use floor mats and follow the dance instructions on the TV while the rest of the class follows. Some students were a little hesitant at first, but not anymore.

"It's fun because you get to still exercise and have fun at the same time," said student Paige Brennan.

"Basically you have to move really fast during DDR and you're moving fast when you're playing basketball, playing football, or playing baseball, or other sports," said student Hunter Wallace.

Brennan says the extra energy put into dancing makes you feel like you've exercised--almost like a real workout.

"After, I feel like I've played basketball or something because you still feel like you've done something that's exercising," said Brennan.

Afterwords, the kids finish off their exercise by putting the desks back in the classrooms. But even though, they say the video games are cool and all, no one can deny there's nothing like having the open space of a real gym.

"It's supposed to be a very nice gym so I'm looking forward to all that," said Arrington.

The gym that is under construction is expected to be finished by next school year.

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