St. Joseph Catholic School Installs a Rock-Climbing Wall for Students
April 5, 2022
During Spring Break St. Joseph Catholic School installed a horizontal rock-climbing wall in the gymnasium for students. The idea of the horizontal rock wall was a vision brought to life by Mr. Ryan Stridde, the Physical Education and Health Teacher. Mr. Stridde presented the idea to Jerry Van Dyke (principal) a year ago and it was unanimous that our students and our school could benefit from the endeavor. After review and approval from the parish finance council and school board, in the Fall of 2021, the rock wall project was put into motion, and it was installed the week of March 14-18 (Spring Break).
The benefits of this rock wall are two-fold. As students work in teams, they learn communication skills by assisting and spotting their partners as they climb. Climbing also helps to develop courage at lower heights and trust in one another. This activity will increase core strength and balance while challenging one’s range of motion. Hand-eye coordination, sensory processing, and tactile understanding help the body to develop better spatial awareness. Rock climbing is considered a lifetime skill which is a skill that can be useful for a lifetime. In the first week of use, it quickly became an all-school favorite activity and students were able to spend a lot of PE class time exploring the new wall.
Every grade, 3K Preschool through 8th-grade will be able to use this rock wall. For the remainder of the school year, students will do a two-week unit where they will rock climb four to six classes in a row. In the future, students will be able to use the rock wall once a week, every three weeks tentatively, while transitioning between units.