I had the opportunity not long ago to walk a new family around our campus during the enrollment process and we stopped a few moments in our gym. “Now if you want to participate in something really cool, you’ll have the chance to traverse our school’s rock wall,” I commented to the perspective student. His dad looked at me: “Are you kidding me? A rock wall at school? Why?” That’s the only question I needed to launch into a complete dissertation on the benefits of Rock Walls . . .
Traversing a rock wall (moving horizontally across the wall) has multiple benefits, one being the constant movement of large numbers of students at safe heights. Climbing is a captivating activity promoting self-esteem while contributing to the overall physical fitness levels of the climber (cardiovascular, muscular, strength-building, and coordination, to name a few). Climbing in general challenges our students to travel beyond their personal comfort zones into the world of adventure-based learning. There’s also the added benefits of problem solving, team-building, positive risk-taking, student focus, concentration, listening skills, and self-discipline. In fact, climbing across the 48 feet of rocks on the wall system under the mats (providing a safe landing area for those of us who need it) is a challenge for even the best of physically-fit learners and leaders!
Traverse rock climbing is one of many innovative physical activities Coach Rogers and Coach Martin incorporate into daily P.E. activities for our learners. It’s also another great reason why P.E. ROCKS at Miller everyday! (Thanks to the Midlothian Education Foundation for the initial grant that brought the first Rock Wall to MISD at Longbranch Elementary years ago…it was the catalyst for all the others!)