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ETBU Kinesiology students host field day for community children

November 1, 2019

Over 350 three and four-year old students from Marshall ISD enjoyed the East Texas Baptist University Kinesiology Department’s 12th annual Washington Early Childhood Center (WECC) Field Day on Wednesday, October 30. ETBU Kinesiology students led the ECC attendees in a variety of physical activities, ranging from parachute play, and tricycle riding, to obstacle course running.

“Because of Marshall Early Childhood Center’s move to the old South Marshall Elementary building, they were able to increase their number of classes. We accommodated around 80 more students than we ever have before,” ETBU Professor of Kinesiology Dr. Will Walker said. “ETBU students were able to gain practical experience in a physical activity-based environment at a fairly early stage in their own college careers. At the same time, we served the greater Marshall community through providing opportunities for the MECC students to enjoy games and play with ‘big kids’, who happen to be dressed up as superheroes, sports stars, pandas, crayon boxes, and a variety of other fun things.”

The Marshall Early Childhood Center serves children in pre-kindergarten and is home to Marshall ISD’s Head Start Program. The organization focuses on preparing each child for kindergarten through quality curriculum, engaging activities, and a staff who is committed to encouraging and teaching students.  This collaboration between MECC and ETBU provides physical education and activities for elementary students and encourages and inspires the college students in their chosen field of study.

“I love seeing the interaction and engagement between college students and the kids,” MECC teacher Tonya McCray said. “I can see that the kids are developing their gross motor skills, and it shows them that this is something they could look forward to going to a big school. I bet all of them will sleep well today!”

Students in ETBU’s KINE 2309 Teaching K-5 Physical Education course, which primarily consists of first-semester sophomores majoring in All-Level Physical Education and in Child Development, are provided an opportunity to apply course content, practice their learned content in practical situations, strengthen their servant leadership skills, and build relationships with children and families in the local community.

“This Field Day is about community outreach and career training,” junior kinesiology major Brady Faulkner said. “We apply what we’ve learned in the classroom with kids around the ages that we will be teaching in the real world. I enjoyed hanging out with the kids, putting a smile on their face, and having fun.”

Field Day is more than a one-day activity for ETBU students. Prior to the event, students spend time carefully building lesson plans, specifically for the age range of children that attend the event. In addition, the students also practice teaching strategies, incorporating and applying effective use of wording and body language to elementary students.

“I chose to major in kinesiology because I like the idea of helping people be better and doing it through a physical aspect. I hope to be able to impact lives with encouragement both verbally and physically,” junior kinesiology major Justice Henson said. “This is a great opportunity to get started in my field of work, and I’m I love to see the kids’ smiling faces.”

For more information on East Texas Baptist’s Kinesiology program, visit www.etbu.edu/kinesiology.