West Bronx Academy for the Future and Belmont Preparatory High School students celebrated the end of the school year with the Water Skills Presentation. Thirteen middle school students and seven high school students presented a wide variety of the water skills including different floats, glides, finning, dives, etc.
West Bronx Academy for the Future middle school students impressed the school administrators, parents, family members and friends presenting all the swimming techniques.
After just nine months of learning swimming they are able to swim freestyle, backstroke, elementary backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly at high level. Belmont Preparatory High School students who are the members of the Theodore Roosevelt Educational Campus varsity swimming team presented all the swimming styles at proficient level. West Bronx Academy for the Future high school students performed amazing group floats.
“It is so exciting for our students to participate in the Water Skills Presentation. They like showing to their parents and the school staff what they learnt. We organize similar events every school year and we are glad that both the students and parents enjoy it so much. We conducted the project “Siblings teach their siblings how to swim” during National Physical Education and Sport Week, May 1-7, which involved more than 50 active participants. According to Let’s Move in School, a national initiative in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign, family and community involvement is an important component of so-called comprehensive physical activity program. Mr. Wilper Morales, Principal of West Bronx Academy for the Future and Mr. Stephen Gumbs, Principal of Belmont Preparatory High School strongly support the development of this program. “These two schools provide opportunities for quality physical education because many of their students participate in different physical activity programs before and after school,” said Srecko Mavrek, swimming teacher and President of Exercise Science/Sports Medicine Section of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
Wilper Morales, Principal of West Bronx Academy for the Future (WBAFF) said: “Keeping our students to participate in after-school physical activity programs is critically important to fight the growing epidemic of childhood obesity. Many parents have reported its positive influence on students’ weight reduction. Celebrating the end of the school year with the Water Skills Presentation gives students an opportunity to improve their skills and show us what they can do.”
The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) recommends that schools and families incorporate at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity into each child’s daily routine. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends that at least 30 minutes, or half of the recommended daily physical activity time, be accrued during the school day.
“We want our students to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime. They do well in our swimming classes, but we wish them to be so successful in other subjects. Participation in swimming can improve the students’ academic achievement as well.” said Michael E. Stewart, swimming teacher and coach at Theodore Roosevelt Educational Campus.
“It is good because I improved my skills in the practicing. I finally learnt how to dive without belly-flop,” said Kinaysha Lugo (WBAFF 6th grader). Her classmate Melissa Mejia, who was providing technical support during the presentation, said that she feels the students learn how to swim better than before because of presenting the water skills. Franklin De La Cruz (Belmont Preparatory High School senior), a great breaststroker, said that he will miss very much his swimming teammates after graduation.
“I am very happy with Ellieson. She impressed me. And what I like about it, she exercises more than before and I can see change on her body. We really need swimming, physical education and music in the school! Children are going to focus better and learn discipline through this. It’s not just learning swimming, they learn discipline! Today I saw that she learnt a lot. It was my pleasure to be here,” said the grandmother of Ellieson Gonzalez (WBAFF 6th grader), Father of her classmate Vanessa Barrera said “I came to see my daughter. It was a great presentation! Students keep learning; they see their parents… That’s very good.”
“Research shows that quality physical education programs can contribute to students’ regular participation in physical activity. The challenge is to help students identify a sport or activity that he or she enjoys as much as watching television or playing computer games. Swimming is definitely a sport that our students enjoy so much. All of these students participate in after-school swimming programs and most of them have developed excellent skills. For example, this time they performed a domino group side dive which looks fantastic! We are very proud of them,” said Mavrek.
Congratulations to the following students who participated in the Water Skills Presentation:
West Bronx Academy for the Future middle school students:
Fatoumata Koita, Adele Korac, Kinaysha Lugo, Leandra Hernandez, Renish Habib, John Owusu, Antoine Myers, Hugo Barrera, Ebrima Ceesay, Vanessa Barrera, Ellieson Gonzalez, Arly Reyes and Desiree Vanegas.
West Bronx Academy for the Future high school students:
Erika Rivera, Jennifer Castillo and Luz Perez.
Belmont Preparatory High School students:
Linda Morales, Franklin De La Cruz, Enes Menica and Chima Agwu.