By Robert Whitmire
“We want to get kids out of bed, away from the television and computers, and actively enjoying some activity four days a week.”
That’s Randy Shirek’s goal.
Shirek is running the “Let’s Keep Moving” program — along with fellow teachers Ben Hall, Brian Hintz, Nancy Schuster and student assistant Laura Canapa — at P.J. Jacob’s Junior High. The summer class runs for six weeks.
This is Shirek’s fourth year as head of the program and he says many of his students have been with him all four years.
He estimates kids between eight and 18 years of age spend an average of seven-to-eight hours per day using entertainment media, television and computer games to occupy themselves, when they should be getting at least 60 minutes of activity each day.
“We have 113 students enrolled this year in grades five through eight,” Shirek said, adding the ages are broken into different groups and perform three different activities each day. Pirate ball, mat ball, frisbee, football and soccer are among some of the activities offered.
Students have also takenh trips to Skate City in Wisconsin Rapids, Iverson Park and local bowling allies.
“It’s all meant to be fun and give kids the chance to meet a lot of new friends while actively being engaged in personal and team building skills during the summer,” said Shirek.