By Dave Ongie
The inside of the gym at Indian Trail Intermediate School was a swirl of lights last Friday afternoon.
The rumble of hundreds of pairs of roller skates on the wooden floor provided a thunderous backbeat for the music that came pouring out of a speaker in the corner of the gym. It was the end of a stressful week of TCAP exams, and the Indian Trail students were rolling into the weekend in style.
“With them sitting in a chair, having to be quiet and focus on question after question after question, that can be draining,” said David Nutter, a Physical Education teacher at the school. “So for them to come in here, put on a pair of roller skates and just wear it out, it’s just an awesome thing. Physical activity stimulates the mind.”
As the end of the school year draws near, Nutter and his fellow P.E. teachers are always on the lookout for new activities to keep the students engaged and moving. That’s what ultimately led to Indian Trail’s gym being transformed into a skating rink.
“We’re always looking for fresh ideas for our students,” he said. “We really like to think what do the kids like? What do they like to do, and how can we keep them active outside of the school?”
With those questions in mind, Nutter said he went down to the Johnson City Family Skate Center about a month ago in search of some coupons to entice his students to give skating a try. Instead, the business agreed to let Indian Trail borrow 125 pairs of skates for a few weeks to get in the habit of roller skating.
It was a win-win for the school and the skate center, but the students circling the gym on Friday seemed to be getting the best of the deal.
“This is just one of those things that we can partner with a group and the community and show the kids living an active lifestyle outside our P.E. class is a valuable thing,” Nutter said.