What’s Right With Our Schools: Unified PE program strengthens relationships within the school

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GRAY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Gray Elementary students are getting to know their peers a little bit better.

Every Friday for 40 minutes, fourth graders partner up with special needs students during PE class and show them how to do something different.

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Fourth grader Anson Talcott says, “You get together and see what you can do and they can do and you go do that activity.”

Some activities include hula hoops, jump rope or basketball. For some, its an experience they’ve never had before.

“They’re learning new things that’s hard for them to learn and by showing them, it’s easier for them to learn and get to know how to be able to do,” fourth grader Anna Annis adds.



The fact that students are interacting with students who are not like them, strengthens their social skills.

“They can figure out how to work better with them once they identify that we are all different. They might need to help somebody with something or they might understand that not everybody was born like they were. It just really helps them understand people better and their gifts and abilities,” says physical education teacher Angela Watts.

“Do not double dribble and walking and carrying and all of that,” says Antonio Harvey.

Harvey is no different than any other student on the basketball courts. Instead of being taught how to play, he is giving other students some pointers.

“You just need to learn how to shoot and make the square and make it go in the circle,” he adds.

Watts says the only thing she sees when she walks in the gym is kids playing together.

“They learn other stuff they didn’t know before and it makes me happy,” fourth grader Zipporah Singleton explains.

This is Gray Elementary’s fourth year using the Unified PE classes. Jones County High School has the Unified PE program as well and that’ll bridge the gap between elementary students as they transition into high school.