Parents hit the gym at MES

RUSTY FELTON HURRIES after his daughter, Rachel, in front, and classmate Ryleigh Parker during a game of Line Tag. Ryleigh’s mother, Carrie, joined in the “Parents in Gym” festivities, as well. C.D. Moore photo

Cailey Moore
Staff Writer

Marlinton Elementary School Physical Education classes saw an influx of new faces February 23 and 24, as parents gathered at the Marlinton Community Wellness Center to join their children for an hour of gym.

Earlier in the school year, Parent Involvement Coordinator Susan Arbogast reached out to the student body to see how they would like to involve their parents in their school day, and a majority of the responses stated that the students would like to bring their parents to their gym class.

Each P.E. class began with a series of warm-ups and a game known as Line Tag.

Students stationed themselves at different points on the lines of the basketball court, and four-to-five students were given yarn balls. Once the music began, students either power walked or jogged along the lines in an attempt to keep away from the “taggers.”

If tagged, the students sat down where they were tagged and became road blocks for those still in the game. Those who had not been tagged were not allowed to move around the new obstacles and had to turn around – which, in some cases, forced them between a rock and a hard place as the “it” students closed in.

Following Line Tag, the class moved on to Pin Down.

Parents and students were each given a bowling pin and a playground ball. Stationing themselves within the court’s lines, each individual was given a bowling pin and playground ball. They were then tasked to guard their pin while using their ball to try and knock down the other participants’ pins.

If an individual’s pin was knocked down, they headed toward the sidelines, where a number of jump ropes had been laid out. Participants had to jump rope 10 times in order to rejoin the game.

“They really enjoy this game,” P.E. teacher Denise Irvine said about Ellen Fortney’s second grade students. “They’re rolling their balls, moving around as they protect their pins, and when they get out, they don’t sit down. They go jump rope and then they can come back in.”

For David, Kim and Aspen Hissom, a playful family feud emerged as mother and daughter joined forces to take down David’s pin. However, their eagerness to take down David led to their own pins being knocked over from behind, and together, the family hit the ropes.

“I need three days a week of this,” David commented at the end of the class.

Pamela Robertson joined her daughter, Whitney, in gym, as well.

“Oh, my,” Robertson said with a laugh, “It was fun. I really, really enjoyed it. Whitney asked me last night, and I originally thought I wasn’t going to be able to make it. It worked out, though, and I’m glad I was able to be here.”

Pamela McCurdy’s third grade next up in the gym.

According to Irvine, students begin participating in the Presidential Physical Fitness Test once they advance to the fourth grade, and by practicing the different exercises – crunches, jumping jacks, push-ups and more – Irvine hopes to help prepare her students for next year.

Following warm ups and a game of Line Tag, Irvine sorted her students – along with parents Rusty Felton and Carrie Parker – into four relay lines for a game of Hot Spot Basketball.

Rubber dots were placed throughout the free throw lane at the opposite end of the court, and once the game began, each team member had to dribble their basketball or playground ball down the court. Once they reached the free throw lane, students and parents took a single shot from one of the many dots spread out on the floor. If a basket was made, the dot was collected, and the team with the most dots at the end of the game won.

Nearly 20 parents joined in the fun and worthwhile activity.

Cailey Moore may be contacted at

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