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Elementary school kids learn team building with ropes course

LAWTON, Okla._Lawton elementary school students got a lesson in not only overcoming physical obstacles, but also personal ones.

Fifth-grade P.E. students from Eisenhower Elementary School spent Wednesday and Thursday participating in several team building and trust exercises on the ropes course at Southwestern Behavioral Health Center in Lawton.

The students participated in exercises with instructors to learn everyone’s names and then participated in trust falls. The students learned how to properly put on their harnesses before climbing a 40-foot pole and walking across another one.

Their teacher, Joslyn Wood, says while the activities help the students challenge themselves physically, it also helps them mentally.

"As far as individually, what it does is builds self-confidence, self-esteem, motivation and being able to overcome fear to say ‘yeah, I might be scared, but I'm going to do this,’" Wood said. "Some of them would cry, but then when they got down, after they conquered that fear, they were so proud of themselves and it was nothing but tears of joy."

Students were encouraged to use communication and problem solving skills to get their teams through the course.

"That's the whole point of this, it's team building and coming out of your comfort zone, just supporting each other," Wood said.

Wood says Eisenhower Elementary is the first school to utilize the ropes course and she hopes it will encourage other schools within the district to offer the course for students.

The exercise was all made possible through a sponsorship by Arvest Bank. Wood wants to make these team building exercises a staple of her physical education classes, and says that can be possible if they find a sponsor.

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