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CPASS students create at-home adapted physical activities during COVID-19

A group of CPASS athletic coaching education students used remote teaching and learning techniques to reach out to Monongalia County children who would normally participate in the college’s Friday Program group. The CPASS students created a unique distance learning environment for students with disabilities to help them keep active during COVID-19.

When the schools closed due to the pandemic, the ACE 488 students knew it was important to offer an alternative method to help the children stay active.

Samantha Ross, assistant professor, physical education and kinesiology, says that the ACE 488 graduating seniors, Elizabeth Lizzie Mayfield, Daniel Shaver and Kenneth Cranston, took the initiative to develop an at-home adapted physical activity program for students of Mon County as a substitute for the college’s Friday Program.

“The ACE 488 students developed an adapted scavenger hunt series on YouTube. Their efforts were recognized by Steppingstones, who shared the series on their Facebook page,” said Ross.

Ross acknowledges the CPASS students’ efforts and contributions to the community during the pandemic. “Lizzie, Danny and Kenny went above course expectations to create an engaging and highly inclusive at-home physical activity video series. Their videos include exercise modifications and visual task cards to ensure athletes with disabilities can fully participate.”

“This video series will serve many children with disabilities currently at home with limited resources. It has been offered to adapted physical education specialists of Monongalia County Schools to share with teachers and families. Their efforts will have a positive impact and encourage children with disabilities to stay physical active at home,” Ross explained.

Elizabeth Mayfield, from Atlanta, GA, is an athletic coaching education major and sports communication minor. She chose CPASS because of the “amazing professors” and wide range of classes offered about various sports.

“CPASS has prepared me for every aspect of my career. The opportunities it has opened me up to and everything I have learned in my classes will help in my future career and will have prepared me for every possible situation I could experience as a future coach,” Mayfield said.

Mayfield explains how the team developed the project. “For our at home physical adapted activity program, we decided to do a scavenger hunt where kids go around their house or their yard and do exercises after they find each task card. We brainstormed fun activities kids would genuinely like to participate in.  Our main goal of the project was not just to turn something in for a grade in a class but create something that these kids would enjoy and truly engage in,” Mayfield added.

“We have heard great feedback from adults in education systems and other professors throughout CPASS. We did not run into too many issues when making the activities. Luckily, we all communicated well and divided up the work in a way that suited each of our strengths,” she said.

Daniel Shaver, from Centreville, VA, is an athletic coaching education major with minors in strength and conditioning and personal training. Shaver chose CPASS because he knew he wanted to coach the next generation of athletes to help them become great athletes and better people. 

“The class helps prepare you for everything you may see out in the field one day. This may be writing resumes to getting internships and learning how the human body works.  The at-home adapted physical education program has been interesting. Talking with Lizzie and Kenny helped make sure we got what we wanted for the video. Finding the equipment was easy since everyone has a chair and some open space at their house,” he  said. 

“The results have been great so far. Our videos were sent to Oregon to APE classes. A graduate assistant in CPASS used to work there and wanted to share our efforts,” said Shaver.

Kenneth Cranston, from Steubenville, Ohio, is an ACE major with a sport and exercise psychology minor. “Coaching is my passion. Many universities offer physical education or sports management degrees. However, WVU is the only one that is truly tailored to what I want to do in life,” said Cranston.

“I have learned a lot from this program. There is so much science behind training and coaching that goes overlooked. I have gained a lot of knowledge in specific scientific reasoning of what will and will not be beneficial to the athletes. This knowledge will make me more successful,” Cranston said.  

“These projects took many late-night FaceTimes and much texting and emailing to make it work. With everyone being home and far apart, it made it difficult to manage. We made the videos accessible for athletes of all abilities. There is a workout for able-bodied athletes, athletes with lower limb impairments and those with lower and/or upper body impairments.  Often, children with disabilities are overlooked. We were happy to do our part for the students,” he added. 

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