Alamosa Recreation Center and HPPE class benefit from partnership

(03-14-2014)

Eddie Stanley, middle, works with Mikael Abeyta, left, and Marilyn Chacon

Eddie Stanley, middle, works with Mikael Abeyta, left, and Marilyn Chacon, right, from Blue Peaks Developmental Services.

At the Alamosa Family Recreation Center, on a Monday afternoon, small groups gather in the large recreational room, Adams State University students guide and direct members from Blue Peaks Developmental Services and Alamosa High School on how to dribble and shoot a basketball.

The Adams State students take an adapted physical activity course from Peggy Johnson, visiting professor of HPPE. As part of the class, the students provide instruction in lifelong physical activities for a number of students with intellectual disabilities from both Blue Peaks Developmental Services and Alamosa High School using the Alamosa Family Recreation Center facility and equipment free of charge.

"The Alamosa Family Recreation Center 'adopted' our class last semester while the Adams State Field House was undergoing renovations and has graciously offered us the use of their space on an ongoing basis," Johnson said.

City of Alamosa Community Activities Manager Andy Rice said the agreement is mutually beneficial and fosters an important community partnership. "ASU has an excellent facility to teach its students on adaptive PE provision while simultaneously providing adaptive participants with professional instruction and our staff gains a bit more time to focus on important leadership and management activities." Previously, Blue Peaks paid a minimal fee for a weekly PE class led by AFRC staff members.

One of the class objectives is to introduce students with special needs, who participate in the adaptive physical education lab, to locations in their community where they can pursue active lifestyles. "The Alamosa Family Recreation Center is an ideal community recreation facility for our students with special needs to utilize outside of our lab as it is affordable for those on a fixed income and relatively physically accessible," Johnson said.

Rice said collaboration leads to an effective relationship where resources can be pooled leading to synergistic community benefit. "Allowing the classes here also exposes both ASU students and adaptive participants to the programs and facilities we offer and facilitates an internship program whereby HPPE students often complete their sport management practicum hours for the Parks and Recreation Department."

The adaptive physical education class meets for nine class periods at the AFRC. Johnson said she appreciates the support from all the staff at the recreation center. "The ASU students enrolled in my class every semester benefit by completing their practical experience in a fairly typical community recreation facility, as well as learning about cooperative agreements."