A school is swapping out regular physical education activities for yard work and people are thinking it’s an awesome idea! Thanks to a recent change in their school curriculum, students at the Alternative Learning Center (ALC) in Dubuque, Iowa, can now earn their PE credit when they help senior citizens or people with disabilities with their yard work and landscaping needs.
The Alternative Learning Center teaches juniors and seniors who are at risk of dropping out or are having a hard time succeeding in the more traditional school setting.
“In Iowa, alternative education is a perspective, not a procedure or a program. It is based upon a belief that there are many ways to become educated, as well as many types of environments and structures within which this may occur. Further, it recognizes that all people can be educated and that it is in society’s interest to ensure that all are educated.” The Iowa Department of Education’s website reads.
A teacher at the school, Tim Hitzler, said, “The students and I … come out and help (those needing their assistance). Could be raking leaves, pulling weeds, cutting grass, cleaning gutters, just depends on what they need.”
Hitzler said that he wanted students to perform yard work for the elderly and disabled for credits as it benefits all parties involved. The teacher further added that while the students weren’t too thrilled at the prospect of getting themselves dirty, they have come to love doing it after they saw the finished product and how happy it made their neighbors.
“The students aren’t typically too excited at the beginning but once they get involved and start doing the yard work they become more motivated. What they really like is helping people. They really like giving back to people and meeting the person.” Hitzler said.
In fact, the program has now become so popular with the students that some happily volunteer to work through summer.
“I’ve had students that graduated that have come back to help. There’s something about helping people that really need it.” Hitzler told People.
We think this is such a great idea. What do you think about this program?