Grant brings 'Frisbee Golf' to Poquonock gym classes
By Gregory A. Scibelli - Staff Writer
Windsor - posted Thu., May. 26, 2011
Physical education programs at the Poquonock School have recently been enhanced, thanks to the work of physical education teacher Mike Farr and the generosity of the Windsor Education Foundation.
Most recently, the foundation granted Farr $780 to purchase new equipment for a concept known as “Frisbee Golf.”
The activity was implemented in gym classes during the past few weeks and gives the students in the school an opportunity to play something different and innovative, Farr said.
“The kids get to learn some of the concepts of golf without playing the actual game,” said Farr. “They get to have fun with the Frisbees, something we already do in gym class, and they also have to work on taking turns and keeping their scores.”
He also said the new game is a break from other team sports the kids usually play, like soccer and basketball.
“It’s something different that is still competitive and not as fast-paced, making it easy to follow for the kids,” said Farr.
Farr’s grant was used to pay for a base that connects to a vertical pole. A large hoop resembling a hole is placed on top and is the “target” or hole the students must put the Frisbee through to complete the hole.
Students recently played a nine-hole course during the activity set up by Farr. He attempted to throw in some challenges, while working on the course.
“Sometimes the students would have to work around fences and walls,” said Farr. “It gives the kids some of the concepts of working through a sand trap or water.”
Farr emphasized how important the donation was to making the new activity a reality and how it is the third time the WEF provided funds to help with his budget.
“The cost to get that Frisbee golf equipment is more than twice my budget,” said Farr. “Without this grant, I would not be able to do these great activities with the kids. This is the third time in my 11 years teaching at the school that I have received a grant. Every one of them has helped tremendously. I am constantly working to try and do different things with the kids.”
One of many programs Farr does with the students, who range from grades one to five at the school, is the use of a pedometer, a modern piece of technology walkers and runners often use to measure distance and performance.
For the students, the pedometers measure steps. A chart was produced showing where a student stands for overall activity. The chart states that a student who walks 3,000 steps during a 45-minute gym class is considered a cheetah, the highest level of performance. 2,000 steps are designated a squirrel, 1,000 steps a fox, and under 1,000 a turtle.
Farr said some students challenge themselves to walk the distances in order to get 3,000 steps during a class period.
“If students are bowling and waiting around for their turn,” said Farr. “They might go walk or do something to stay active.”
The WEF provides grants for innovative programs for teachers throughout the school district. Grants are applied for yearly by many teachers.