ESW Students Collaborate with Children’s Center for Valuable Service Learning Experience

by Melissa S. Treacy

The youngest students on Montgomery County Community College’s Central Campus in Blue Bell are helping Exercise Science and Wellness (ESW) students to get some hands-on experience with building Physical Education lesson plans.

For the past three semesters, students in Introduction to Exercise Science and Wellness classes (ESW 102) taught by program co-coordinators Dr. Ann Livezey and Amanda Wooldridge have had the opportunity to work with toddler and pre-school students from the College’s Children’s Center.

According to Wooldridge, her students develop and lead physical education activities and lesson plans for Children’s Center students in the College’s gymnasium several times throughout the semester. The lessons are based on Pennsylvania’s Early Learning Standards.

“The college students enjoy the inter-generational interactions and having fun with the children through physical activity,” Wooldridge explained. “Many of the college students will go into careers working with children, but they all report that this is an invaluable experience to provide fun activities for children to encourage them to be active and PLAY!”

The college students are not the only ones enjoying the fun.

“The [preschool] children absolutely love ‘gym class’ and leave with smiles on their faces every time,” she said. “I see children and college students having fun together — jumping, playing games, balancing, throwing, scootering and just plain running!”

“The college students report that this interaction teaches them about lesson planning, organization, and the joy that children have for the lessons,” she added. “They form bonds with the children and the children look up to their college counterparts. It is a win-win relationship!”

Wooldridge isn’t the only one thrilled with the program.  Kathie Hawkins, lead teacher and assistant director of the Children’s Center, agreed it was a win-win for all involved.

“The [preschool] children get to work on real, gross-motor skills with indoor activity. The gym is a huge space, so they really get to run around,” said Hawkins. “As a teacher, I can observe and record my observations, watch their gross-motor skills, their interactions. At the same time, the college faculty can evaluate their [students’] teaching skills. And, the college students, acting as teachers, are able to implement their lesson plans on real people.”

Hawkins said, as an MCCC graduate herself, the application of lesson plans is crucial for a teacher learning the ropes.

“Sometimes you write your lesson plans on paper, and they sound great on paper or to adults in your class,” she said. “Here, the college students are able to test their ideas out on the kids.”

This style of teaching, known as service learning, is an important component in many of MCCC’s programs. It can be a unique way to both learn and provide for the needs of a community.

“The students get to learn by providing a service for a certain population,” explained Wooldridge in her ESW example. “This particular project means a lot to them because they can visually see the difference they are making for these children. They get to have a positive impact on the young children and make sure they know how much fun being active can be!”

Wooldridge said that service learning is a fundamental component in many of her classes.

“The students get to learn that they can use their skills and knowledge to enhance the lives of others,” she said. “Through [the preschool] activity, they get to impart their love of activity and knowledge about motor development to create a positive environment for the children. In other service learning exercises, my students get to learn how to plan, organize and run an entire fundraising event to learn sports management. All money raised goes to a local charity in Montgomery County as well as to MCCC’s ESW Scholarship Fund.”

Wooldridge said that the MCCC students are helping to teach lifelong lessons, and not just a single moment of exercise.

“Encouraging children to lead active lifestyles instead of sedentary lifestyles is a wonderful step in the right direction,” she said of a healthy lifestyle. “The ESW students are also tasked with educating the preschoolers about the importance of healthy lifestyles and sharing age-appropriate tips with the children each time they visit the gym.”

The lessons are driven home by also speaking with the families of the preschool students.

“I also speak with the parents of the preschoolers from the role of ESW faculty about the importance of family engagement in physical activity,” said Wooldridge.

To learn more about MCCC’s Exercise Science & Wellness program, visit mc3.edu/academics.

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Photos by Alana J. Mauger

Dodgeball Tournament Benefits New ESW Scholarship

by Robert Gardner

Students enrolled in the Exercise Science and Wellness program at Montgomery County Community College hosted their DodgeBall Tournament during downtime (12:30-1:30 p.m.) on Monday, Dec. 3,  in the Physical Education Center at Central Campus.

Each semester, ESW 102 plans a service project to raise funds for a charity chosen by the students. By allowing the them to choose the recipient, Assistant Professor and ESW Program Coordinator Dr. Anne Livezey feels the students feel more connected to the purpose.

“We give them options,” she said. “But they make the final decision.”

This semester, the students agreed with a suggestion made by Livezey and ESW Adjunct Lecturer Amanda Woolridge.

“Last spring,” Livezey said, “the [ESW] students asked the money raised go to them.”

Therefore, rather than raise money for an external charity, the DodgeBall tournament will benefit a new ESW Student Scholarship.

“Over the summer, with the help of the Foundation, we created the ESW scholarship fund,” Dr. Livezey said. “We hope to award an ESW student(s) with money next fall.”

ESW major Alexis Aaron, of Upper Perkiomen, actually had some experience with a dodgeball fundraiser in high school; she chose not to play in this semester’s. Instead, she refereed some games.

“I did not accept bribes [from any of the teams],” she joked.

Aaron also composed an email which was sent to the entire school announcing the fundraiser and inviting students and teams to participate. Beyond Montgomery County Community College, Aaron plans to study Kinesiology at Temple University.

Kyle McHale will graduate from the College this semester. However, he wanted to contribute to the ESW students who follow him. McHale, of Willow Grove, said the decision to fund the scholarship was “hardly debated.”

“The professors came up with the idea,” he said. “And all of the students were on board.”

McHale, who sold t-shirts at the event, hopes to open a CrossFit gym after graduation.

According to Dr. Livezey, “This was the first year we sold t-shirts for the event. We have extra t-shirts for anyone who wants to purchase one. They are $10. Again, this was student led and a new learning component to the project.”

David Rosenberg is not an ESW major. He simply wanted to contribute.

“Technically, I don’t qualify for [the scholarship], but I was impressed at the turnout, the organizational skills of the students,” Rosenberg said.

He also refereed and joined the rules committee, which used an official dodgeball rulebook around which they based the tournament.

Rosenberg also brouht baked goods—donated from his employer in Elkins Park, The Rolings Bakery—which were sold at the event to further raise money.

Women’s Volleyball coach Misti Volpe entered a team of eight girls. The girls, wearing bright, neon uniforms, could not be missed. All but two members of her successful squad played.

“They looked good out there,” Volpe said proud twinkle in her eyes. “They had a lot of fun and were very competitive.”

Donations from local restaurants, grocery stores, AMC theaters, and the College Bookstore were raffled off. The “big sponsor” was Wawa; the winning team  each took home gift cards for the chain.

“The idea of the tournament is a hands-on learning opportunity for the students,” Livezey added. “It was a success and the students loved being involved.”

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photos by Matt Carlin

ESW Course Prompts Students to Make Healthy Lifestyle Changes

by Laura Maginley

Students at Montgomery County Community College have the unique opportunity to cross an item off of their personal health checklist by enrolling in the Exercise Science & Wellness course “Personal Health and Wellness Education” (ESW235).

In conjunction with the course’s textbook, students are asked to develop a plan to change a particular health behavior or habit and incorporate objectives from the corresponding chapters.  According to Associate Professor Georgette Howell, students in the course have targeting such behaviors and habits as meditation, flossing, caffeine, sleep and smoking.

Each plan must include five elements to ensure success: action, contingency, measurement tools, reward systems and maintaining efforts.  These enable the students to truly evaluate what obstacles may occur during the process and what they would like to ultimately accomplish.  Additionally, each student must research pre-existing information on his or her chosen topic and must keep a daily journal to record the progress. The project counts for 25 percent toward a student’s final grade.

Howell cites that quitting smoking is among the most extreme behavioral changes tackled by students during this project .

“Lung and bronchus cancers are the number one cause of death among all cancer patients, and students can lower their risk for heart disease in the first few minutes of breaking the habit,” she said.

Many of the students enrolled in this course take a ride on the emotional rollercoaster once the course is over, including Sheila MacDonald, an Office Administration and Computer Systems major.  MacDonald made several previous attempts to quit smoking without success.

“My addiction was not only physical but deeply physiological. I honestly couldn’t remember a time when I didn’t smoke,” she shared.

MacDonald selected smoking for her ESW behavioral change project and went through hypnosis.  While the cravings and mood swings were apparent, she used meditation to remain calm throughout the process. She also found that sharing her experiences with other students and receiving feedback throughout the course helped her emotionally.

“The course as a whole was very reflective and really made me take a long hard look at my health and well being,” she said.

Exercise Science Dodgeball Tournament Raises Funds for Alex’s Lemonade Stand

by Robert Gardner (Liberal Studies)

Exercise Science and Wellness (ESW) majors hosted a dodgeball tournament to help raise over $625 for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer on April 16.  The tournament, held at the Physical Education Center, was the brainchild of students of Assistant Professor Dr. Anne Livezey and Lecturer Amanda Woolridge.

Service learning projects are an important part of the ESW program.  Students become familiar with aspects of planning, organizing, and implementing large events. By managing multiple moving parts, they learn to be flexible while keeping the end goal in focus.

In addition, students discover the fulfillment of supporting a worthy cause.  They took a vote, and for the second consecutive semester chose Alex’s.  According to Dr Livezey, the students stepped up to the task of organizing and fundraising.

“They set up tables in Parkhouse, ATC, and College Hall, and gave out lemonade and popcorn, prior to the event to generate interest,” she said.

“They really got out there and found businesses to participate,” said Woolridge.  “Buxmont Soccer donated Players Edge cards.  New Life Thrift Store, the Spinnerstown Hotel—these businesses had not been part of past events.”

Students also solicited donations from their employers. Chris Panettieri provided a gift card from Trader Joe’s, and Phil Masturzo furnished movie passes courtesy of Frank Theaters.  Donations were also made by Andy’s Diner, Chick Fil-A, Foot Locker and Wawa. Donated gift cards were raffled off the day of the tournament.

Students Kassie Vogt and Geena Carmoniti sold raffle tickets and registered teams.  They also made t-shirts for the winners. Atticus Massari and Chris Popolizio manned the concessions tables, selling pizza, hot dogs, and other snacks.  Ciara Marble handed out flyers around campus.

Intense action on the dodgeball court punctuated a successful campaign for not only the winning team, but also for the students, faculty, and administrators who made the event happen.  In the end, fun was had by all, a project was completed and an important cause was supported!

Donations to Alex’s Lemonade Stand can still be made through the Tournament website at   www.alexslemonade.org/mypage/81190.

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Photos by Matt Carlin

ESW Basketball Tournament Raises Funds for Alex’s Lemonade Stand

by Robert Gardner, Liberal Studies

Students from Montgomery County Community College’s ESW 102—Introduction to Exercise Science, Wellness and Sports Studies—held a 4-on-4 basketball tournament to raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer.  The culmination of a semester-long Service Learning Project (SLP), the tournament took place in a packed gymnasium on Central Campus on Dec. 6.

At approximately 6:30 p.m., Team Kush was declared champs by referee and announcer Brendan Dougherty.  Kush survived the 13-team tournament that raised over $710 in team entry fees, concessions, and 50/50 raffle tickets.  Additional donations were also made on the Alex’s Lemonade website.

The tournament was organized and implemented by students of Assistant Professor Dr. Anne Livezey and Lecturer Amanda Woolridge’s ESW 102 day sections at the Central Campus.  Fall 2011 is the third semester of SLP for ESW 102; to date, this tournament was the best in funds raised and number of participants.

According to Dr. Livezey, the two Central Campus sections were fully involved in the project, as well as individual students from online, evening, and West Campus sections.

Woolridge said the classes voted on Alex’s Lemonade Stand as their charity and did a “great job organizing and preparing for it.”  They spent about a month planning the tournament.

“We received a great deal of support from the Alex’s Lemonade Stand organization,” added Dr. Livezey.

“Alex’s Lemonade was a great choice because if one of my children were to get sick, I would appreciate it if somebody stepped up and did this for them,” said full-times Liberal Studies major John Smith, who has a one year-old daughter and a son on the way.

Service Learning Projects are important for introductory students because they learn how to organize and run tournaments, including marketing aspects.

“My role in this project was to help organize the concessions,” said Smith.  “Our group determined what food would be sold, where to purchase the food, and how much we would charge.”

Exercise Science majors Danielle Dimezza and Becca Mariorana sold 50/50 raffle tickets during the event.  They also participated in the concessions group, put together a bake sale, and posted flyers around campus.

“I learned that giving to a charity is such a good thing,” Dimezza stated.  “Why not take action and be a part of something good?”  Danielle also donates to other charities, runs in 5K races, and regularly gives clothes to Purple Heart Foundation.

“Hopefully our donations will help find a cure for childhood cancer,” Smith anticipated.  “But I know that it will make a lot of sick children know that there are people willing to fight for them.”

“It is our hope that students will be inspired to complete other service learning projects,” Dr. Livezey declared.  “They can see their efforts and time really pay off.”

Donations to Alex’s Lemonade Stand can still be made through the Tournament website at www.alexslemonade.org/mypage/79334.

Check out event photos below!

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photos by Matt Carlin