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Students skate for education

Detroit Lakes Middle School students participate in the Skatetime School Program, bringing fun to physical education.

Detroit Lakes Middle School has again teamed up with Skatetime School Programs in its continuing effort to bring fun and valuable physical education opportunities to its students.

All students in grades 6-8 are developing skating skills on inline skates, or rollerblades, during a unit that the DLMS physical educators have been teaching annually for the past several years. Of the estimated 600 students at DLMS, over 100 said this is the only time they get to do any type of skating throughout the year.

"It has been such a popular unit with all our kids," commented teacher Jake Blow. "From hockey players to beginning skaters--everyone smiles and their skills improve."

The unit addresses the goal of the physical education curriculum at DLMS to provide students with a balance of essential skills in several lifetime activities from badminton to yoga.

Blow added, "PE has changed so much in the last 20 years, and this is just one of several unique opportunities we give our kids at DLMS. If we taught only competitive team sports we'd miss a lot of our kids. We teach literally dozens of different activities so every student develops skills and knowledge necessary to pick a couple things they like to do to stay active with their loved ones for the rest of their lives."

The rollerblading unit lasts 8-10 days each year, and the cost is $9 per student.

"We'd like to publicly thank parents and the Native American Club at the high school for supporting this great opportunity for our kids every year. This year alone we had over 70 students whose fees were paid by donations. We couldn't do this without their help."