An article from The Bismarck Tribune investigates a new take on physical education for high school students, which includes lessons in skateboarding. Derek M. Walls, owner of Brevard Extreme Sports Park, knows firsthand that skateboarding is a great way to impart kids with enthusiasm for physical activity.
The Bismark Tribune recently published an article detailing high school gym teacher Penny Slagle’s efforts to introduce skateboarding as part of the curriculum. She teaches at Williston High School, and with the help of a federal grant, is reshaping the idea of physical education. Instead of kickball, dodgeball, and volleyball, she’s in the process of creating “New PE”: lessons in cross-country skiing, curling, and archery.
With the help of Skate Pass, a company based in Boulder, Colorado, Slagle is adding skateboarding to the list. Skate Pass created a program of the same name to teach skateboarding to students of physical education. It is currently taught in 36 states, and even has abroad programs in Germany, Canada, Singapore, the Dominican Republic, and Myanmar.
Slagle herself has never skateboarded. Neither has student-teacher Kaidra Myxter, who helps teach the class. They are learning right alongside of the students, who learned proper takeoff technique on their first day. They also learned how to keep both feet on the board.
Students donned helmets, as well as knee, elbow, and wrist pads before stepping on their boards. The class functioned as a free skate in order to help students develop the basics of balance and turning. She has found that students are extremely well-behaved and enthusiastic during these kinds of classes, especially the older ones.
Skate park owner Derek M. Walls appreciates Slagle’s take on the sport, especially when it comes to her observations regarding the students’ reactions. He says that skateboarding has often gone hand-in-hand with the idea of the young hoodlum, or “skate punk.” The Skate Pass program is helping to dispel some of that stigma.
Derek M. Walls feels that skateboarding is, and always will be, a vital part of youth culture. He approves of the fact that Skate Pass imparts the basic skills necessary for mastering skateboarding. This means that more teens will be able to partake in skateboarding if they so choose. Walls says that skateboarding is a great way for kids to socialize, bond, and create friendships—something that all kids need during their teenage years.
Derek M. Walls owns Brevard Extreme Sports Park, where individuals and groups can participate in paintball, airsoft, skateboarding, and BMX biking. He lives in Brevard County, Florida.