Full of “Super” Fun and Fitness
The Lincoln Community Learning Centers (CLCs) have their own version of the “Justice League”, a team of CLC superheroes that work to make kids healthier, more fit, and superheroes in their own right. Community Learning Centers use schools as a hub to connect schools, families, neighborhoods, and community organizations, bringing them together to provide what children and youth need to achieve success and be healthy.
The CLC Activity League is a group of CLC site supervisors who put together afterschool programming that is no less than super in its scope and “funness” factor, with a healthy dose of fit along the way.
Take for instance, the League’s latest production – kids building and playing on their own mobile putt putt golf course, otherwise known as a Makerspace. What exactly is a Makerspace? A makerspace is a place where people of all ages can gather to create, invent, tinker, explore and discover using a variety of tools and materials.
Community volunteers and organizations played a big role in making the mobile golf courses a reality, says Kathie Phillips, CLC Curriculum Specialist. CLC UNL intern, Ann Mathews, recruited two UNL engineering grad students to assist the kids with design ideas. Park Middle School site supervisor Susi Stout recruited several local businesses to donate funds or supplies towards the project, but major help also came from community partners like Fulton Homes Construction, Custom Countertops, and the Nebraska section of the PGA (Professional Golfers Association).
Fulton Homes Construction and other local construction and retail businesses donated funds and building materials, while Custom Countertop constructed 8 large plywood bases, each becoming a designated “hole” on the putt putt course. Combined, the bases spanned an entire gym floor at Goodrich Middle School, CLC site host of the Makerspace event. Kids from CLCs across the city divided into teams and attended a 2 day workshop on March 16th and 17th designing and building their own course holes. Kids came up with amazing ideas, said Phillips. One course hole featured a working windmill, another had a bowling theme. By 3 PM on March 17th, the kids welcomed their families and friends to play the newly constructed course with them. The Nebraska PGA provided both golf equipment to use and a PGA teaching professional for instruction.
Makerspace creations are gifts that keep on giving, says Pamela Mueri, CLC outreach specialist from Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln. After the 2 day event, the course was deconstructed and shipped off to other Lincoln CLC sites and the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Air Park Center where kids will start all over with new designs. Pretty super!