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Students Take the Initiative for the Love of the Game

Barb Hamlin,   Hichborn Middle School
Physical Activity Participation
Buses start pulling in to the school at 7:15 AM and continue dropping off students until they come in at 7:40 AM. Instead of just standing around, you can find students at Hichborn Middle School involved in an open game of Flag Football. They took the initiative and set up the program from the beginning without adults involved! When the Program Advisor for FUTP 60 received the Flag  Football equipment, they happily upgraded their game. PE classes involved some new drills from the NFL Kit and students continued to play until a foot of snow and sub zero temperatures put things on hold until a warm-up.

How did you accomplish your goals?

Necessity is the mother of invention. Students really enjoy being active and competing. In the beginning, individual students brought their own footballs and used two hand touch. The NFL Flag Football kit provided improved equipment options. PE classes included some of the drills from the play book.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

When sportsmanship started to go downhill, there was a two week game suspension. The FUTP 60 Program Advisor decided to have the FUTP 60 meetings include football. However, any student with sportsmanship issues, unsafe play, or breaking any of the rules, would be immediately sent back to their homeroom and miss the rest of the game. Students quickly learned to take the game to the high road and did not have further problems when allowed to play outside again.

How do you plan to make this Play last during the school year and beyond?

We are a small rural school, so everyone knows each other even in different grades. Student leaders in all three grades will continue the game traditions through to the following years. It is expected that students will start playing again when the weather and field conditions allow.