2012-10-05 / Neighbors

Blue Point teacher receives state award

Physical education instructor focuses on ‘teaching lifelong skills’
By Michael Kelley Staff Writer


Marcia Grant, a physical education at Blue Point Primary School in Scarborough, recently was named the elementary physical education teacher of the year for her work teaching children how to stay physically fit and healthy. (Courtesy photo) Marcia Grant, a physical education at Blue Point Primary School in Scarborough, recently was named the elementary physical education teacher of the year for her work teaching children how to stay physically fit and healthy. (Courtesy photo) Blue Point Primary School physical education teacher Marcia Grant is teaching kindergarten, first- grade and second-grade students at the school much more than how to be physically fit and stay healthy.

Grant, who has been teaching at the school for the past 21 years, is helping to instill life skills in the young students that can be used well after they move on to Wentworth Intermediate School.

“She is so focused on teaching lifelong skills and healthy living habits,” said John Thurlow, principal of Blue Point Primary School. “She goes beyond the traditional physical education program most people are familiar with. It is so much more comprehensive than it was.”

This dedication to improving all aspects of her students’ lives was recognized on Sept. 21 when Grant was named the 2012 Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the Maine Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Thurlow said aside from her work with physical education, Grant is a strong proponent of Kelso’s Choice, a conflict management program that teaches children how to differentiate minor conflicts on their own and more serious conflicts that need the help of adults.

“It’s a tremendous honor for the school,” Thurlow said. “This kind of honor is so rare that when a school and a teacher gets it, it is incredibly exciting and uplifting.”

Grant said she was grateful to receive the award, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the team effort of her colleagues.

“I was very thankful, but I am part of team here. We work together as classroom teachers and as specialists,” Grant said.

Thurlow said through Grant’s help, the 25-minute recess period – traditionally a time for children to run, play and release some of their energy – has been reinvented.

“She’s designed a new way of doing recess by being visible and teaching kids cooperative play skills. It’s had a tremendous impact on the nature of recess,” Thurlow said.

Grant said with support from parent volunteers and members of the PTA, every Friday at recess students participate in the Mileage Club, in which students earn tokens for every mileage card they fill up.

The program, Grant, said helps students stay active and work toward goals.

“It really helps them to learn to work toward goals. It takes them three weeks or more to fill up a card and it helps them to see how their hard work pays off,” Grant said.

This year students are getting more physical education than they did last year. This year students are coming to Grant for 40 minutes twice a week, 20 minutes more than they did in previous years.

Grant said at this level she is teaching the students about improving their motor skills, physical fitness and health concepts.

Right now students are learning about germs and hand-washing in advance of the cold and flu season.

“Our goal is that all kids realize that movement and activity is for everybody. It is for everybody, no matter the age. It is about getting them comfortable and confident about movement,” she said.

“There is a real window of opportunity here,” Grant continued, “to foster the importance of activity and healthy habits. I am very thankful that Scarborough has invested in this and given the kids more time to form those healthy habits and attitudes.”

Grant’s award is the second time this year a physical education teacher in the district won an award for work in the primary schools.

In June Betsy Gianetta, a physical education teacher at Pleasant Hill Primary School, won a 2012 Maine Fitness Award from the Governor’s Council on Physical Activity.

“She goes above and beyond her duties, with numerous programs, to help all kids in Pleasant Hill be active on a regular basis and to develop a love of fitness through all seasons, in various ways,” said Kerry Goulder, a Scarborough parent who nominated Gianetta for the award.

Want to comment on this story? Login to our website at leader.mainelymediallc.com and let us know your thoughts.

Return to top