Esperanza Middle School Physical Education Teacher William Plotner, standing, explains how to use the rowing machine to eighth-grader Austin Kraese. (Submitted photo)
LA PLATA, Md. (March 13, 2011) As Esperanza Middle School eighth-grader Austin Kraese nears the stationary bike in his schools gym, he claps in anticipation. Once on, his grin widens to a smile that stretches nearly ear to ear. A student diagnosed with autism, Kraese is one of nearly 100 students in St. Marys County Public Schools who participate in the adapted physical education program. The program recently got a boost from the donation of fitness equipment from the College of Southern Maryland.
CSM treadmills and other fitness equipment that had already logged thousands of miles and years of use by adult continuing education students will now continue to motor on through the peddle power, muscle and stamina of a slightly younger crowd.
Even though the treadmills were purchased in 1997, they have never failed us, said CSM Wellness, Fitness and Recreation Interim Director Judith Ferrara. We want to see students enjoy the many good years and many more miles left in the equipment.
Happy to put the treadmills, rowing machines and stationary bikes to good use is Rocco Aiello coordinator for the adapted physical education program for students with disabilities in SMCPS.
Students like Kraese and Annie Davis, a sixth-grade student who is deaf, benefit not only from the physical workout, but also from the sense of accomplishment they feel from learning something new, said Aiello.
Working with Kraese and Davis is Esperanza Middle School Physical Education Teacher William Plotner who is trained in adapted physical education. Every couple of days he shocks me, Plotner says of Kraeses physical progress. This [equipment] is perfect for him.
Regardless of a persons physical abilities, it is important to stay active, Aiello said. We want to promote daily physical activity that will lead to a healthy adult lifeand a greater quality of life.
For information on CSMs wellness, fitness and aquatics programs, visit www.csmd.edu/PersonalEnrichment/WFR/.