The gym at Lebanon Middle School was filled with the sounds of bouncing balls and laughing children on a recent rainy January morning as students enjoyed themselves while getting some movement in, thanks to a basketball clinic put on by the Connecticut Sun.
A CEA Member Benefits Partner, the Connecticut Sun is holding monthly drawings that CEA members can enter for a chance to bring a basketball clinic to their K-6 students, and December’s winner was Lebanon Education Association Co-President and reading consultant Jeannette Picard.
“I never win anything!” Picard says. “To win something like this for our school was pretty special.”
The fifth through eighth grade school offers boys and girls basketball teams and co-ed wrestling during the winter season, but Picard says there are some kids who don’t get a lot of movement in their daily lives. “This is a really good thing for them. It’s an exciting way to get them moving about.”
When the school held an assembly to announce that Picard had won the clinic, students left no doubt as to their excitement. “It was deafening in here because the kids were screaming and yelling so much,” Picard says.
Sixth grade team leader and reading and social studies teacher Barbara Archer said her students had been really looking forward to the clinic. “They were all very excited, so it was hard to contain them during our first period of the day because they knew the clinic was coming up. It’s a fun, different kind of opportunity, something new to try–and obviously, they all have different skill levels, so they’re all out here just trying, and that’s great.”
The clinic opened with an introduction from Connecticut Sun representatives Anthony Sanders and Jenna Whelan, and then students got started with some warmup stretches before moving on to various drills and attempts at the hoop.
Physical education teacher Jeff Gaucher teaches all four grades at the school. “We’re fortunate to have a professional team so close to us, and to be able to promote that healthy lifestyle and physical education is great. All we really want to do today is make sure that kids have the opportunity to learn about movement and activity and learn how to enjoy it so they can engage in it for the rest of their lives.”
He said that a traveling event like the clinic is fantastic for motivating and inspiring kids without requiring the expense or planning of an off-site field trip.
“An event like this that gets students out of the classroom for another opportunity, other than physical education class, and allows them to move around, learn some skills, have some fun and laughs, and be with other people—it’s invaluable.”
Picard says she highly recommends other CEA members enter the raffle for a chance to win a clinic for their school. “The staff from the Connecticut Sun have been so gracious and helpful, and they’ve been really good with the kids.”