duncanville isd

Elementary School Students Benefit From ‘Virtual' Gym Class

Duncanville ISD physical education teacher organizes Zoom workouts for students during coronavirus pandemic

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With schools locked up and their playgrounds empty, physical education teachers, like Kendall Graves, are going through withdrawal.

“I really do love my kids with a big L-O-V-E, and when this whole social distancing or quarantining started, it tore me up, broke my heart,” Graves said.

So he decided to do something about it. The PE teacher at Bilhartz Elementary School in Duncanville ISD turned to technology.

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“When we started the whole Zoom, pretty much teachers around the world started the whole Zoom thing, I thought, 'Why not me too?” Graves said.

Three weeks ago, Graves started to host virtual workouts. Every Friday, students like Sophia Mireles joining him for Gym Class -- without the gym.

“I really like it a lot because I get to see all my friends there and everybody I know,” Mireles said.

It is a great way to stay in touch and stay in shape. Parents are all for this unconventional form of exercise.

“The gym class coach has relieves a lot of the tension that kids have and the anxiety, it just lets them release all of that and have that moment, 45 minutes of being a kid and jumping and playing,” Diana Mireles said.

The idea turned out better than anyone expected.

“I wanted to see if I could get as many (participants) as I can," Graves said. "And after we tried the first one of having 30-plus, I thought that was great and then the next week when it went up to 80 it blew me away, so it’s something that’s making my heart feel great every single time it happens, but wanting to see them basically, that’s how it started out, I couldn’t bear to stay away from them.”

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