Exercise Program for Kids Resumes Oct. 13
A children's exercise program that started more than three decades ago will resume Oct. 13 in the Peters Hall gymnasium at Radford University. Physical Exercise and Activity Kamp (PEAK) aims to coax elementary school youngsters away from Saturday mornings in front of the TV and get them moving.
PEAK brings children ages 5 to 10 to campus, where students in the Department of Exercise, Sport and Health Education (ESHE) coach them through indoor soccer, floor hockey and basketball as well as in recreational activities such as scooter races and parachute games.
The College of Education and Human Development’s ESHE department directs the program, which is coordinated by faculty instructors Jon Poole, Anna DeVito and Steve Shelton. The program was established in the late 1970s with now-retired RU Professor Steve Ames as one of its leaders.
Poole said PEAK "is a win-win situation. RU students who plan to be teachers and coaches gain real-world experience with children, while the youngsters have the opportunity to play and exercise at well-equipped, well-supervised activity stations."
Once children reach the age of 9 or 10, they typically become involved in organized youth sports on the weekends, and the PEAK program is less attractive, Poole said. That is why the camp enrolls mostly 5- to 8-year-olds.
Radford students studying to become teachers are required to spend 50 hours working with children in some capacity before applying to the teacher education program. Radford faculty members in the physical education teacher preparation program organize and supervise PEAK with RU students to help them meet that requirement.
The PEAK registration fee is $25 for four weeks of two-hour sessions beginning at 8:45 a.m. on Saturdays. That equates to about $3 an hour, which Poole said "is pretty hard to beat for parents." The fee covers basic costs for equipment.