‘Low ropes’ comeback at West

       Students at West Elementary got to try out a refurbished “low ropes” course as a new outdoor activity this week.

West Elementary student Melia Kincaid strives for balance on a newly refurbished "low ropes" course at the school. Helping are (left) Courtney Smith and Chris Gray of Liberty High School.
Westside Pioneer photo

       They were led by students from Liberty High School, who had offered to work with West's students for their “senior service day.” Ten Liberty students in all took part, said Amanda Sward, who was one of them.
       A ropes course offers participants a series of physical challenges that typically require thinking and teamwork to figure out. The term “low ropes” refers to a course that is closer to the ground and thus safer. An example at West was a station where students (one at a time) had to traverse a beam, keeping their balance, but couldn't move on until other students relocated the first beam into a slot ahead of them.
       According to West Principal Terry Martinez, most of the devices had existed for unknown years - unused and in varying stages of disrepair - in a tree-covered area in front of the school at the corner of 20th Street and Pikes Peak Avenue. “I hate it when things don't get used,” he said. After some volunteer carpentry work, he had a six-station course ready to go this week. He expects it will be used at times during the school year by different elementary classes, in cases where teachers want to help their students work on process and problem-solving in a physical way.
       The stations can also be modified to provide differing challenges, Martinez said. This could be the case, with the idea of making the stations harder, should West Middle School (which shares the campus with the elementary school) also decide to use the site, Martinez said

Students from Liberty High School help West Elementary kindergarteners stay on a wood platform, as part of a teamwork game on the low ropes course which imagined there had been a flood and the only thing floating was a school desk and they all had to fit on top of it.
Amanda Sward photo – used with permission

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