School Awards Credit to Students for Helping the Elderly and Disabled With Yard Work

Tiffany Meier
By Tiffany Meier
June 5, 2019USshare
School Awards Credit to Students for Helping the Elderly and Disabled With Yard Work
People gardening. (NeONBRAND/Unsplash)

A group of students are stepping in to help do yard work for those who are unable to do it  themselves, as part of an physical education credit program in an Iowa school, according to KWWL.

“Could be raking leaves, pulling weeds, cutting grass, cleaning gutters, just depends on what they need,” Tim Hitzler, a teacher at the Alternative Learning Center program in Dubuque, Iowa, told KWWL. “The students and I and other students come out and help them.”

Students can choose from a number of activities as part of their physical educations credit during the last two weeks of school. Doing yard work for the elderly or those with disabilities is now one of those options, KWWL reported.

“The students aren’t typically too excited at the beginning but once they get involved and start doing the yard work they become more motivated,” Hitzler told the news outlet.

Hitzler said the students’ favorite part is getting to see how happy the finished product makes the people they’ve helped. The teacher added that he chose volunteering for people as it was a way to help the community.

“They really like giving back to people and meeting the person,” he said.

The students and teachers at the Alternative Learning Center in Dubuque will be helping the elderly and disabled in the community with their yard work until June 6, the last day of classes in the Dubuque Community School District, according to the publication.

People took to social media to express their thoughts on the program; most said they think it’s a great form of exercises for the teenagers.

“What a great idea! It’s a win-win,” one person wrote in a Facebook comment.

“Elderly and disabled get help they need, and I’m sure, appreciate, and the students get exercise. Anyone who has done a lot of yard work knows that you do get a workout. I also think that the students would feel good about themselves knowing they are helping others in need.”

Another person said that they loved the idea: “In my opinion it’s still physical education just in a different way. it’s physical and it certainly is an education.”

“I think this is an amazing idea!!!,” another person wrote.

“The kids are getting outdoor exercise, instead of electronics all day. Another positive the kids and people they are helping may form a bond and friendship!!!”

Physical Education

Last year, the federal government updated recommendations for physical activity for the first time in 10 years.

The guidelines include recommendations for children as young as 3 years old and recommended a minimum of 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous activity for children between ages 6 to 17.

The guidelines stressed the importance of physical activity, and highlighted the risks involved if no lifestyle changes are made.

“One-third of all children born in the year 2000 or later may suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives,” the document reads. In addition, those who do not suffer from diabetes will likely suffer from some other chronic health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, and asthma, according to the updated guidelines.

“The new guidelines demonstrate that, based on the best science, everyone can dramatically improve their health just by moving — anytime, anywhere, and by any means that gets you active,” Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary of health at the Department of Health and Human Services, said in a release.

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