‘Kids don’t play outside like they used to:’ Chilton Co. program teaches kids how to ride unicycles

Good News

CLANTON, Ala. (WIAT) — When something is easy, people say it is “like riding a bike,” but what happens when that bike only has one wheel?

The YMCA of Chilton County and the Board of Education teamed up to offer unicycle classes each week at Clanton Elementary School. The classes are available to all elementary students within the county as part of an after-school program that also provides dinner, study and playtime.

“We offer the uni-cycling, STEAM lab, guitar, music, art, cooking, basketball,” Lori Patterson, CEO of the Chilton County YMCA, said. “Those are the extracurricular [programs] that the children can choose here in the after-school program.”

Children can also learn Tae Kwon Do and gymnastics.

Pam Koons is the unicycle coach. She told CBS 42 she was self-taught during her childhood.

“It’s not one of these fast, instant gratifications,” Koons said. “This is: You work hard, you try hard. You learn your balance. The kids help each other.”

As children strengthen their friendships, they also strengthen their bodies and their minds.

“Everybody has computers, everybody has games — video games,” Koons said. “Kids don’t play outside like they used to and so they’ve sort of lost that ability to try hard and hope for something. Now, with this, they’re all trying hard.”

The classes are taught once a week in session lasting approximately 45 minutes.


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