Adapted Physical Education Program
An Authentic Task Activity
As Matheny School strives for community integration, our students are visiting regular schools, competing as equals in the adapted physical education realm. During the visits, all of the students utilize adapted and assistive technology to compete during traditional physical education activities such as soccer, football, bowling, relay racing and obstacle course completion. These activities address the New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards in the areas of comprehensive health, physical education, language arts and social studies. Matheny students demonstrate the adapted activity to their new peers; then they compete or participate together as one.
The idea was envisioned by the hospital director of therapies, Linda Frankshun, who wanted these students, many of whom are residents at Matheny, to have opportunities outside of the classroom. Sheryl Gavaras, director and principal of the Matheny School, supported the idea, not only for the opportunities provided to students, but also because the program supports best practices and the New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards.
The program extends the adapted physical education classroom and allows students to explore a new gymnasium and independence. The students interact, but ultimately they are competing to demonstrate their abilities, resulting in personal success and peer respect. All of the students challenge each other and, in the process, share moments that last a lifetime. They often exchange emails and continue the relationship beyond the physical education class.
Schools or parents desiring more information about how to get involved in this program should call (908) 234-0011, ext. 226.