SPARTA, NJ – While the winter weather has not been very wintery, the students of Sparta Alpine Elementary School took advantage of the rare snow to try out an unusual snow activity.
The week of February 13 was an exciting time at Alpine School. Following a large snowstorm and a snow themed play day at school, many students got to experience snowshoeing in physical education class.
Years ago, physical education teacher Kyle Markovich wrote a grant for a class set of snowshoes from the Sparta Education Foundation. Markovich teaches at Sparta Middle School and Mohawk Avenue School, as well as coaching the Sparta High School ski team. He felt learning to snowshoe is a lifetime activity that many young students do not know about prior to trying it out in physical education.
The goal has been to get each student the chance to try the snowshoes at least once between kindergarten and third grade. Of course, this program is at the mercy of the weather.
The physical education teachers at Alpine School brought as many classes as possible out to the back field of the school throughout the week to snowshoe. With the help of PTO volunteers, students were taught how to get in and out of the snowshoes. They were given time to explore around in the snow.
Some students got creative and organized their own activities, pretending they were on a hike in Alaska. Others decided to race against friends and jump around.
“It was all about the experience,” physical education teacher Lisa Saparito said. “If more snow arrives, the PE teachers try to take the remaining groups out to enjoy snowshoeing.”
Should there be no more snow, the physical education department looks forward to spring activities outdoors.