By LAUREN NEWMAN Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 5:09 pm
Students at Tallassee Elementary School are saying, “Yes Wii can.”
Both students and faculty at TES are fighting obesity in physical education classes with new Nintendo Wii machines and programs.
TES principal Wayne Pressley said the members of the P.E. Department approached him at the end of the last school year with the idea of purchasing the Wii machines to use in class as a way of incorporating more technology.
“The P.E. Department is doing a tremendous job with coordinating dance and exercise with these Wii machines,” Pressley said. “The students are happy to go to P.E. now.”
The students are happy to go to P.E. now.
Four Wii machines and 16 controllers have been purchased. Three of the machines were purchased by the school and the fourth was funded through a grant with the Alabama Sports Festival as part of the “Wee Can Fight Obesity” fitness campaign. TES is participating in a study with Alabama State University where third graders are surveyed throughout the year to collect data related to a child’s body mass index (BMI), weight and attitude. Though third graders are the focus of the study, students in every grade level use the Wii machines during P.E.
“We’re participating in a study for our students to not be as obese as they are now,” Pressley said. “The P.E. Department has them doing so much more exercise, but (the students) have a great time doing it. They don’t even realize they’re exercising.”
During P.E. class, the students take turns handling the controllers while doing different programs, whether it be dance, running in place or other cardio exercises. The Wii program is projected onto the gym wall for everyone to follow along. Even some teachers stick around to participate.
Pressley said they have already noticed a difference in students’ attitudes.
“The teachers are ecstatic because the children are motivated to go to P.E. now,” Pressley said. “Even kids who do not like exercise enjoy doing this. We’ve seen fewer discipline referrals.”