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Cool Schools: NorthWood Middle School students learn how to jump

WAKARUSA, Ind. -

Usually gym class means playtime for kids in school. But one teacher in Elkhart County uses his experience as an athlete to challenge and motivate his students to always aim high. 

“I think you have to use the word passion when you’re talking about Fred Myers as a teacher,” said Bart Rice, Principal of NorthWood Middle School.

Students in Fred Myers’s class learn how to jump.

“I just wanted to find a way to motivate kids that couldn’t touch the net or couldn’t touch the backboard so I came up with this idea,” said Fred Myers, a P.E. Teacher at NorthWood.

A-B-C- SPRING forget the ING are the six components Myers teaches.

A stands for agility, B for balance, C for coordination, S for speed, P for power and R for reaction time.

“I think jumping is something that we don’t think about cause its something that none of us really try,” said Rice.

Jumping applies to other areas, like basketball.

“It helped me with my all-around game like I can score more points by jumping higher,” said Nate Newcomer, an 8th grader at NorthWood.

Myers has been teaching for 42 years and has been recognized for his accomplishments in the Michiana community.

He’s in the Concord and Elkhart County halls of fame.

He was just named one of the 50 most influential sports figures in the area.

He uses his invention, the rim stick, in his class, which measures how high each student can jump. 

It doesn’t just help with playing sports, but teaches them that as long as you practice, you can achieve your goal.

Myers says it’s the kids he gets to work with that keep him going everyday.

“To me it’s even more exciting then when I did it myself,” said Myers.

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