In the auditorium, the foldout chairs were packed with parents and siblings, eager to see a demonstration by students in the Columbia Virtual Academy (CVA) tumbling class. “When we started, most of our students couldn’t do a cartwheel,” said instructor, Angela Fleck. The class began last spring for K-8th grade students.
Tumbling is similar to gymnastics—a variety of acrobatic maneuvers that rely on strength, balance and agility—but on the floor with almost no specialized equipment. Once a week, the class warmed up with some cardiovascular activities and full-body stretches, followed by instruction in a progression of tumbling skills. “Many parents have told me that the tumbling class is the highlight of their week,” said Fleck. “Some students have requested mats and other equipment as gifts so they can practice at home.”
“We have incorporated some equipment,” said Mrs. Fleck, “a bar, mushroom and trampoline.” Most of the equipment is homemade, a couple of two-by-four balance beams and a bar that must be anchored on each side by a person before a student can put his or her weight on it.
“With the local classes, my daughter has improved strength, coordination and skill, as well as an opportunity to participate in a great activity to showcase her talents,” said parent and CVA teacher, Lynnette Franks.
The demonstration began with each student displaying the various moves they’ve learned. Kindergarteners did handstands and cartwheels, while the older students performed back handsprings. “How awesome is a kid’s first cartwheel?” asked parent, Lori Larsen. “PE is one class that can certainly be accomplished online or at a distance, but the group experience is something that I really value in the CVA Tumbling Class.” The students created their own routine, a dizzying exhibition of tumbling and dancing that wowed the audience.
“We appreciate everyone in the community who participated and helped make this class possible, especially the Crossroads Community Church for allowing the students to practice in their space,” noted Mrs. Fleck. Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible donation of gently used tumbling or gymnastics equipment to the program for next year can call (509) 937-4663.
In This Photo: The grand finale at the demonstration of the CVA Crossroads Tumbling Class.