At Tates Creek Elementary School in Lexington, physical education teacher Daniel Hill estimates that 60 percent of students don’t know to roller-skate.
But that is changing through a four-hour course — one hour for four consecutive weeks — in which he turns the gymnasium into a roller-skating rink.
“This gets a lot of the physical fitness benefits that a P.E. teacher would want,” Hill said. “I want my students to be able to be confident with a variety of activities, not just sports. I want my students to be active for a lifetime.
“Roller skating is just an example of something you can do throughout your life.”
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Hill was able to offer the program through Skatetime, a national company with an affiliate in Indianapolis, which rents skating equipment to schools and other organizations.
Recently, a second-grade class was in the third week of the course.
After warm-ups and lessons, Hill turned on music and let the students practice their new skills.
Jackson Charlton, 7, said the biggest challenge was skating backward.
Emily Ray, 8, said she was learning how to fall safely.
Hill said this is the third school year that he has taught roller-skating at Tates Creek. Before that, he taught it when he was at a Franklin County school.
The program costs about $5,000. Students are asked to pay $8 each, but the PTA pays for any student who can’t afford it.
The roller-skating classes are a confidence-builder for students, Hill said: “They get to see themselves getting better over these four weeks.”