Many fourth graders have never heard of a gymnastics meet, and have never been on a university campus. For the first time, Brigham Young University provided both experiences for students at Amelia Earhart Elementary School. The BYU gymnastics team competed against the Southern Utah University gymnastics team, and invited our students to come watch the meet. Christine Lavallee, fourth grade teacher, says, “[A] lot of our students come from backgrounds where a gymnastics meet just isn’t part of their lives, and we wanted them to know that those opportunities are out there.”

Students learned about the competitive level of gymnastics, and even details about how the meet is scored, how the gymnasts practice, and all the things that go into hosting a gymnastic meet. The students also caught “a glimpse of the possibilities presented by attending a large university like BYU,” states Lavallee.

Lavallee, and the other fourth grade teachers at Amelia Earhart, hope that the students understand that you can push through pain and get back up again, even when you fall. This goes right along with the school’s theme of this year. Lavallee explains, “The women at the meet showed incredible perseverance, which is an important trait emphasized at our school.”

This was the first time students attended something like this, and it was because the BYU Gymnastics Marketing Assistant sent an invitation to the students to come. All of the expenses were sponsored by BYU, except the lunches, which made it possible for Amelia Earhart students to attend.

Attending the gymnastics meet was an immersive experience for students. The fourth graders were mesmerized as they watched the gymnasts push themselves to extremes and perform graceful, but powerful moves. “For some kids, this is what inspires them to explore their abilities,” says Lavallee. We are glad our students can experience these opportunities that inspire them to be their best selves.

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