Cedar Hill Keeps Kids Moving with Workout Wednesdays

Workout Wednesdays
Cedar Hill ISD packs jump ropes and sidewalk chalk into PE Packets to keep students moving. Courtesy of Cedar Hill ISD

Workout Wednesdays Keep Kids Moving At Home

While the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has shut down attending school in person, lessons are still being taught through online services.

Lunches are still being provided through drive-up curbside pickup.

But while homework can be assigned, physical education is another matter. With the social distancing that accompanies dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, group exercises for students have come to a halt. Many schools are offering exercise options students can participate in at home. In the Cedar Hill School District they are taking the idea a little further, even providing some equipment for students.

One Cedar Hill elementary school physical education teacher came up with a creative idea to ensure student fitness that also complies with social distancing. It’s called Workout Wednesday.

Shelly Williamson, a physical education teacher at Plummer Elementary School, distributed approximately 80 free jump ropes to families who picked up lunch for their children at the campus this week. The district had some jump ropes on hand, then they got a boost when some others were donated by the American Heart Association to help get the program started.

District sends home jump ropes from meal pickup locations

Williamson, along with Cedar Hill ISD Director of Athletics Melanie Benjamin, decided the donation of the jump ropes would be a good way to help kickstart the program. So they decided to expand upon the donations with a weekly Workout Wednesday activity at all Cedar Hill ISD locations where meals are distributed.

“It’s activities for them to take home to do with their families,” Williamson said.

“I applaud Ms. Williamson’s creativity and innovation during this critical time,” Cedar Hill ISD Superintendent Gerald Hudson said.

“Social distancing is an important priority right now, and if physical fitness can take place within it, it is a positive outcome for scholars.”

PE Packets and chalk handed out

The program officially started Wednesday. A physical education teacher at each of the four campuses was there to hand out 250 bags filled with chalk and a PE Packet between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., when lunches are also distributed.

The locations for packet pickups are:

*Plummer Elementary School, 1203 S. Clark Road, door No. 5.

*High Pointe Elementary School, 1351 High Pointe Lane, door No. 11.

*Bessie Coleman Middle School, 1208 E. Pleasant Run Road, door No. 15
*Cedar Hill High School, 1 Longhorn Blvd., door No. 14.

The chalk can be used to mark off a hopscotch area.

The jump rope idea stemmed from a lesson that Williamson’s class had been working on prior to spring break.

“My campus was in the middle of a jump rope unit when we left for spring break, and my kids were loving it,” Williamson said. “I thought that it would be a great idea to put a jump rope in the lunch bag for the scholars.”

In addition to the Workout Wednesday program, Williamson has already taken some of her PE lessons virtual.

“I have done a video about juggling grocery bags and my scholars are posting theirs as well,” Williamson said.

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Rick Mauch
Rick Mauch is a veteran of more than four decades in the media. He began writing in high school and immediately went into broadcasting for almost a decade after graduating, working his way to morning drive in Birmingham, Alabama. However, realizing how much he missed writing (though he did continue to do some during his time in top-40 radio), Rick returned to what he loved and has been doing it ever since. Rick's career has spanned a plethora of media outlets, including community journalism, sports, entertainment, politics and more. He's worked in print, broadcast and online media. He also spent several years doing public relations for a children's home in East Texas - still writing on the side, of course. When he's not writing, Rick loves to play golf and do Bigfoot research. He's an avid believer. He also made his first hole-in-one in June of 2020. Rick is married to Junell Mauch. They have five children and three granddaughters