FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 16, 2011
Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins
H&K students work with adapted physical education class at Columbus High
COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Mississippi University for Women health and kinesiology students spent the past semester working with the adapted physical education class at Columbus High School.
The MUW students learned what it was like to work with youth with special needs and a little bit about themselves as part of the process.
“They do hands-on work with the kids,” explained Dr. RandellFoxworth, MUW associate professor of health and kinesiology. “Most of them do not work with kids who have special needs. They become comfortable and enjoy interacting with them.”
In addition to doing physical education with the students, Foxworth challenged his students to pick a buddy and learn as much as they could about their buddy.
As part of their case studies, the MUW students were required to learn in-depth about one person’s disability and find the resources needed to understand his or her buddy and help that individual.
“This helps them to overcome their reticence to work with someone with a disability. They also learn and find they can take this same approach with others in the future.”
One of the Columbus High students in the adapted physical education class said being with his buddy is his favorite part of class. “I get to learn lots of stuff,” he added.
MUW senior Sam Kapsandoysaid, “This experience has been eye-opening. I never knew that it could be so much fun. I never knew we could work with kids with special needs. This could be a career path of mine.”
Lakasha Porter, a senior at MUW, added that she enjoyed working with the students.
“They are really smart and they remember us,” she said. “It also has taught me about how people are different and how they are alike and not to judge.”
All involved agree the partnership is a perfect match.
Larry Gregg, who has taught special education at Columbus High for 12 years, said, “They look forward to working with this (MUW) group every year. It allows them one-on-one participation and they get exposed to different things.”
Sammy Smith, physical education teacher and basketball coach, added their students get to participate and learn in an understanding and laid back environment.
As for the MUW students, he said, “They are getting to see the other side of love and appreciation. Their hearts open up.”