Menu
  • Employee Resources
  • Language
    Stay

Students go 'gaga' for new sport

Castle Rock Elementary students raise money; gain approval for gaga ball pit

CASTLE ROCK – Later this week, construction will begin on an octagonal structure at Castle Rock Elementary (CRE) that will soon host fast-paced, high-energy matches of a sport that is gaining popularity in Douglas County — gaga ball.

Abby and Kenzie were introduced to gaga ball during an outdoor education trip and were immediately attracted to the fun and easy-to-learn game. 

It has been dubbed a “kinder, gentler version of dodge ball.” According to GagaCenter.com, the game is played with a soft foam ball, and combines the skills of dodging, striking, running and jumping, while trying to hit opponents with a ball below the knees.

Abby and Kenzie decided they wanted to bring the game to their school. In addition to creating 3D models of the wooden "pit" and raising money, they learned that they would need the permission of the principal and District.

That meant some pretty intimidating moments for sixth-grade students.

“It was really nerve racking to go in front of these really important adults to our school and our community,” Abby said. “Once we started going we got used to talking to them and we weren’t so nervous.”

It wasn’t long before they were gathering support from sponsors and the appropriate representatives at the District.

In fact, while they were told it could take weeks to get the green light, DCSD’s Risk Management department gave them approval on the spot.

Finally, three fundraisers, including a root beer float event, have raised the $500 needed.

The girls say the extra-curricular project has helped them strengthen their “Six Cs” and other 21st Century Skills.

In addition to the 4Cs – Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration and Communication, Castle Rock Elementary has added two more: Caring and Character.

Their teacher, Amy Gerali, says the project has been a great example of authentic learning. 

“I’m really excited that their passion is becoming an actual, tangible thing,” Gerali said. “They’ve had to use financial literacy, different 21st Century Skills, in order to see this come to life. It is really cool that they’re going to be able to leave a legacy.”

“We had to cross-reference a lot,” added the girls. “We had to go from Home Depot to Lowes to see which one had a better price for the bolts and stuff.”

Following this week’s construction, Castle Rock Elementary will be among a handful of schools that offer the sport, including Sage Canyon and Rock Ridge Elementary Schools, as well as Renaissance Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound Magnet School.

Also, in case you’re wondering, the students say there is no connection between the game and eccentric pop singer Lady Gaga.

“It’s a weird name. People always associate it with Lady Gaga,” Abby said with a laugh.

The name actually comes from its Israeli origins. In Hebrew it means, “touch-touch.” 

Regardless, the girls say the unique name makes the sport stand out. 

“You can’t confuse it with another sport like soccer or football. Once you hear gaga ball you know exactly what we’re talking about,” Kenzie said.

May 26, 2015 | By rmbarber | Category: District, Elementary Education, Risk Management, Schools

District News

kids running outside as part of a race

DCSD is requesting parent input on the health and wellness of our students. Last year, DCSD received a large planning grant from Colorado Health Foundation in an effort to assess how the district supports students through the lens of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model (WSCC). The mission of this grant is to review the current state of DCSD's student health and wellness program, and then formulate a three to five-year plan based on stakeholders’ needs, the latest research, and best practices. As part of this process, we would like your input.

How are we doing?

We want to hear from you! How often do you prefer to receive email newsletters from DCSD? How can we improve the news and information you receive? This brief survey should only take a minute or two of your time. Thank you for giving us your input!

Tell us what you think, here!

 

glowing purple lights hover over trays of seedlings in a dark room

It may look like a plain, white shipping container was just parked on the backyard grounds of Mountain Vista High School. The contents of the container are anything but plain, though. Walking inside the container, different colors of ambient lighting glow, futuristic-looking equipment and tall towers are suspended from the ceiling, and the humidity level is set to 70 percent. The container has been recycled into a new kind of learning opportunity for students.