Gone Boarding is a class that was conceived and developed by Bruce Macartney and Bill Curtis, both teachers in the Forest Hills Public School District in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Macartney, an Industrial Arts teacher along with Curtis, a Physical Education teacher wanted to create something that would engage students who were slipping through the cracks of the school system. "We reached out to many of our students with the question, "What would you like to do?", says Macartney. "The answers we received from students helped shape Gone Boarding." Currently students in Michigan receive a credit in Physical Education, Industrial Arts, and Math for taking the course. Says Curtis..."The landscape of education is changing. We know through research that students learn best when they are challenged with problems and are encouraged to seek out the solutions to those problems. Allowing kids to make mistakes and guiding them to overcome by making adjustments promotes resilience." Students in the Gone Boarding class do everything in groups of three. They design, construct, and ultimately ride a surfboard, snowboard, stand up paddle board, and skateboard. Students also take part in service projects involving the school district's younger students through mentoring relationships built around action sports and partner with the community to make an impact on their world both locally and globally.
"We want every kid in America to have the opportunity to experience Gone Boarding", says Curtis. "It has been so rewarding to see these kids thrive and turn into leaders, not just in the school, but in the community."
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