Adaptive PE closes out the school year

   From Singaporean visitors to a district-wide field day, the Adaptive Physical Education (APE) program is having a busy May. APE is a district-wide program that allows students with special needs to participate in a physical education class through activities that meet each individual’s needs.  

   Adaptive PE is lead by Mrs. Paula Anstaett, who is retiring this year after 34 years at Sycamore. Anstaett started the program in 2008 and helped it grow to what it is today.

   On May 8, sixteen delegates from Singapore visited SHS to learn about Sycamore’s inclusive swim classes. These delegates were brought to Sycamore by the Cincy World Affairs Council. The delegates want to implement Sycamore’s innovative ideas in Singapore with coaches and athletes to promote inclusivity.

   The delegates’ visit was made possible by the Department of State’s Sports Diplomacy Program, which helps to strengthen the relations between the United States and other countries through sports.

   Anstaett teaches swimming during her Adaptive PE classes at the high school once a week.  She also runs a program that gives swim lessons to APE students from the elementary schools once a month at the Mason Community Center.

   The adaptive swimming programs are made possible through help from student volunteers and adaptive methods that help students of all abilities be able to swim.

   On May 10, APE students from across the district participated in a field day at the Blue Ash Nature Park.  

   Although it was a rainy and cold day, the students enjoyed activities such as water games, bubbles, arts and crafts, dancing, meeting animals, and other outdoor games. Over 50 SHS students volunteered to run a station and help make the event a fun day for all of the students.

  “I enjoy playing with the kids and watching the kids have such an amazing day,” said Laura Nordin, who volunteered at the field day.

  Students from the Teaching Professions Academy class, taught by Mrs. Jody Googins, also helped with the event by creating games for the students. After the field day, APE students and volunteers had a cookout lunch.

   For Anstaett, it was her last year leading the field day.

   “My favorite [memory of field day] year after year is always watching the kids interact with the animals. What a smile it brings on their face. I think the little pony, the golden retriever puppy, and the little pig were the big hits over the years,” Anstaett said.

If you are interested in helping with the Adaptive PE program, check the announcements next year to see when volunteers are needed.