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Hillside Elementary School Students Reaching New Heights with Climbing Wall

Hillside Elementary School students climb the new Hillside Climbing Wall.A new fixture at Hillside Elementary School has students going off the wall—literally!

Thanks to a grant by the Hastings Education Foundation in 2019, Hillside Elementary School’s Physical Education Department received funds to purchase a traverse-climbing wall, which is currently located in the small gymnasium at the school. Utilizing the wall as an exciting way to develop coordination, strength, and flexibility for students, the physical education teachers at Hillside Elementary School have received nothing but compliments as students keep climbing to the top.

“I like how we get lots of climbing and I’d like to do it over and over again,” said student Sammy P.

The climbing wall covers New York State Physical Education Learning Standards by giving students the ability to participate in anaerobic and aerobic activity and increase their cardiovascular fitness. Students are also able to learn important life skills on the climbing wall with problem solving, perseverance, and increased self-confidence while working in teams to meet their own goals.

“I like the rock wall because it’s fun,” said student Amelia H. “It works your body and it challenges me.”

While the students are finding a new way to exercise their bodies, physical education teachers at the school maintain that they are glad their students are rising to the challenge and climbing mountains on their own terms after a turbulent year.

“As a department we thought it was important, after the year we have had, to ensure students had an opportunity to end this school year in a way that benefits them in a holistic manner,” said Hillside Elementary School physical education teacher Ericka Melvin. “This is the perfect ending to a challenging year, since students have the opportunity to do what they love most and that is climb.”