It’s the Pits! Foundation Grants Go GaGa

A recent article published by The Woodstock Independent

The D200 Education Foundation awarded two large Impact Grants this year.

“This year the D200 Education Foundation awarded two special commemorative grants in honor of the foundation’s 25th anniversary,” said foundation board member Mark Heckmon, who is also a member of the Grant Selection Committee. “Prairiewood and Westwood Elementary schools were both awarded $2,500 grants that will benefit all students at both schools for many years to come.”

What is GaGa ball? GaGa ball is a high energy, fast-paced sport that has recently become popular nationwide. The sport engages all levels of students of various ages, while “promoting social competence,” Heckmon said.

Physical education teacher Julie Joslyn submitted the grant request for Prairiewood Elementary School, while Robert E. Mecklenburg wrote the application for Westwood Elementary School.

“This is another opportunity for students to be physically active during their school day,” Joslyn said. “The GaGa pit will also be available for our community members to use. It provides the neighborhood kids a safe place to go and enjoy playing with their friends on our off days of school.

“I cannot wait for the GaGa pit to be installed and to watch my students participate in an activity that benefits them physically, mentally and socially.”

The word “Ga” means hit or touch in Hebrew. A lightweight bouncy ball must hit the ground two times before it is in play; that is the reason for the title “GaGa.”

An opponent is eliminated from the pit when he is hit below the knees. The last one left in the pit is the winner.

Foundation Grant Selection Committee members are Bridget Belcastro, Martha Hansen, Mark Heckmon, Al Wilson and Assistant Superintendent Keely Krueger.

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