EPS foundation awards physical education teacher $2,500

Published 10:19 am Friday, March 5, 2021

EDWARDSBURG — This winter, students at Eagle Lake Elementary School were able to trek through the snow and become explorers, thanks to a grant from the Edwardsburg Public Schools Foundation.

The EPS Foundation recently awarded a $2,500 grant to physical education teacher Amanda Wallick to fund a project titled “Winter Fun in Snow Shoes.” The grant allowed Wallick to purchase snowshoes and compasses for a five-week program that allowed students to learn about the benefits of snowshoeing, winter safety and protecting wildlife.

“I was very excited,” Wallick said of when she received the grant. “It was so exciting for me, and for the kids to be able to experience that.”

Wallick said the “Winter Fun in Snow Shoes” program built off of previous lessons she had taught students while still allowing them to learn something new.

“I wanted to give the students a new experience, help them enjoy exercise while being outside and have them learn something that they can use for the rest of their lives,” she said. “They learned how to do the different snowshoeing techniques. They learned how to read a compass. They learned how to problem solve when they are trying to make a map. They were able to use teamwork, and they learned about things like wildlife safety and weather safety to ensure that when they do play outside, they are fully prepared.”

According to Wallick, her students were as excited about the program as she was. She said the program, which was completed in late February, was a success.

“They loved it,” she said. “They just had a lot of fun being able to experience something new. Being able to see their reactions was awesome. I would say out of all the grades I teach at the building, only about five kids have snowshoed before, so being able to see their joy and their reaction the first time they tried it, being able to accomplish something they have never done before, was really cool.”

Wallick said she was grateful to the EPS Foundation for the grant and hopes to continue to be able to expose her students to new experiences and fun programs.

“My goal as a PE teacher is to give the kids these different opportunities,” she said. “It’s really cool to do all these different units that give each child their individual thing that they fall in love with. What was cool about the snowshoes is that it gave us another opportunity to do that.”