This week, kindergarten students at Schultz Elementary School in Delaware learned how to be a hero from local first responders as they took part in a Schultz Superhero Training and “rescued” stuffed animals.
The animals became trapped after physical education teacher and superhero trainer Kathy Horner’s animal shelter collapsed in the gym at Schultz. Horner explained that students would have to work in pairs to sort through the rubble and locate all the trapped cats and dogs before putting them on an scooter, which simulated an ambulance, and taking them to fifth graders playing medical professionals.
The rescue operation was supervised and assisted by officers from the City of Delaware Police Department and firefighters from the City of Delaware Fire Department.
Horner said the activity is one of three “superhero” activities that she uses to teach students about building a strong body, healthy eating, and teamwork.
She added this was the final activity of the students’ superhero training, which previously included a fitness bootcamp, lessons about “power foods versus zapper foods,” and an event where students brought in canned fruits and vegetables and did a work out with the cans before donating the food to People In Need.
Horner said she concocted the rescue operation after taking part in a professional development day.
“It was a book study, and one of the chapters in the books was about going big and being creative,” Horner said. “I was trying to get kids more engaged in their learning. It inspired me to think of a really impactful and engaging way to start with the little ones and introduce those main concepts I’m going to be teaching them throughout their time with me.”
Horner said she invited firefighters and police to give the students a sense of authenticity and something to aspire to.
“I think it’s really important,” Horner said. “I want (police and fire) to be able to be involved with kids and families in our school and be involved so the kids can look at them and see someone who is really important to our communities and have the respect for what they do every day.”
City of Delaware Fire Lt. Chris Neading was one of the firefighters on hand helping students move rubble and stay safe.
“I just wanted to help the kids learn about teamwork and how important it is to work together,” Neading said. “That’s what the police department and fire department do all the time. We’re showing them by example. (I enjoy seeing) kids being excited about working together.”
One of the police officers helping students was Patrol Officer Derek Childs, who said he frequently helps out at the school during morning drop off. Childs said he enjoy directing students to ambulances and seeing them work together.
“It’s fun to get out here and see the kids, obviously,” Childs said.” The team-building and everything is good to see.”
Horner also thanked the fifth graders helping out in the project, adding she couldn’t have done it without them.
After they rescued all the animals, the kindergartners were given badges from the police department, hats from the fire department, and superhero masks from Horner.
Glenn Battishill can be readched at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.