The Springfield College Physical Education program has several aspects which make it successful. Mastering the art of teaching the fundamentals of a specific sport and putting all of the skills together could be the ultimate theme of the program.
Department Chair and Professor Stephen C. Coulon has helped create a great way for the program to implement their motto.
The Physical Education department started a program for home-schooled children last fall. Running from 9:30 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. every Friday, the ages of the kids range from 4-14 years old. It runs for both the fall and the spring semesters.
It is a program created not only for the program to display their talents but serves a much larger and significant purpose.
“It’s a big impact for the program, for Springfield, doing a community-based program,” said Coulon. “It’s very ‘humanic’ in nature.”
Coulon has had a great assistant in graduate student Cody Ross. Being used to writing the lesson plans, Ross has taken the role of helping manage the program.
Last year’s start included 35 kids for the program. There were sophomore and junior undergraduate students that would help teach.
Fast forward one year later and now Coulon and company have over 70 children registered for this year, and the numbers are expected to grow moving forward.
The program is split up into three groups, ages 5-7, 8-10, and 11-14. The different age groups allow for certain kids to work well with each other and evens out the number of kids.
Every group gets a lesson from their teachers about those specific fundamentals. The teachers put together games that have skill themes and introduce the basic aspects of a sport.
Home-schooled children aren’t typically at the same level with physical education as a kid would be who goes to a public or private school. They don’t have the same amount of access to exercise.
“Our goal here is to teach them how to be physically educated, how to make smart choices,” said Ross.
The approximately 70 children that show up every Friday learn how to be a part of a team. The physical education teachers show them what it’s like to fail and then succeed. This program helps the kids get a better understanding of the reality of sports.
It not only has brought a smile to all of the children’s faces, but also the people looking after them in the stands: the parents.
After all, the parents have been the driving force behind consistently bringing their children to the program. Coulon and the rest of the department were first contacted by a number of parents wondering if some type of program could be created.
The parents couldn’t be more pleased with the program.
“Instructors are great, the kids love the program, couldn’t ask for better,” said Sheila Rose.
“They’re doing a fantastic job, they exceeded my expectations,” said Lisa Dupuis.
This program has become a success because of several factors, but it is the teachers who have made the program whole.
Getting observed and supervised for their field work, the student teachers have had the opportunity to take advantage of the program that has been placed in front of them.
Graduate student Brian Allen is thankful that he chose to be a part of the home-school program, as well as a teacher.
“My first goal in life was to be a teacher, so I figured why not come back and actually work on that,” said Allen. “The program is great, I’ve learned so much.”
Allen and the rest of the teachers continue to teach the children the cooperative games and help show them how important cooperation can be.
“They get to work with people they don’t know, they get to meet new people, and learn what it’s like to be on a team,” said Ross.
The Springfield College home-school program has rapidly developed into a booming and successful avenue for parents to watch their kids thrive in physical education.
It is a program that is already so well-established that it feels like it has been around for years. Knowing that only one year has gone by since the creation of the home-school program, the future is immensely bright.
The foundation has already been set in place and the objective is quite clear. The teachers get to display their abilities and connect with the children, while the children and the parents enjoy the experience.
“We want them to be happy, we want them to appreciate the program, and value it,” said Coulon.
It is yet another successful experience at Springfield College that has the promise to be a rich tradition for a very long time.