On a cool, dreary October day, it's not ideal for students to head out to the playground. That's why educators say it's so important they utilize P.E. Students in Cliff Jackson's kindergarten P.E. class spent Tuesday playing soccer. But new and different games are few and far between for many schools.
"I really, truly believe our students are our future. And the scary thing about that is, if you look at the obesity rates over the past several years, it's increasing. It's going through the roof," Jackson said. He says it's his mission to help kids learn good habits early on.
"I believe at the elementary level, that's when you've got to get them. If you get them at middle school or high school, I'm not saying it's too late, but it's a lot harder. This is the foundation for their entire future," he said. Many times, when school districts face money problems, the first thing they cut is art and music, followed closely by P.E., and even though that hasn't happened in Daviess County, it's still had a big impact on Jackson.
"What would help me, my resources, because of budget cuts. My equipment, nada. There's nothing there."
So the school is entering a contest through the national group "Spark". The school has to submit a video, explaining why Sorgho would be the best recipient, and how it would become a model school. But Principal Laura Cecil says there's a bigger picture to be seen. Sorgho is a "Leader in Me" school, where educators implement the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
"One of the habits is 'Sharpen the Saw'," she said. "That's to develop a healthy mind, a healthy lifestyle, and a healthy spirit. We want to have active kids who are healthy." And Jackson says the best way to "sharpen the saw" is to offer these young minds as many opportunities as possible.
"It's sort of scary. You know, they say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Well, it's my job to try to push that apple a little farther away," he said. Grant or not, Jackson says his goal is to keep kids engaged in physical activity, making sure this playground doesn't become a thing of the past in Daviess County.
Cecil says the submission is due by the end of the month, and school leaders will know if they win by November. She plans to really push forward with the production of the video, when students return from Fall Break in a couple weeks.