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2003 PFA All Star Teacher
Connie Sgriccia

Connie Sgriccia

Penns Manor Elementary School
Clymer, Pennsylvania

WOW! What a great- love those kids- Physical Education Teacher! She is top notch, at the peak of her career, a great, mature, creative dedicated broad based fitness teacher!
Connie received a Project Fit America grant in 2006 and since that time we can not find enough adjectives to describe her! If you set foot into her gym you would see her kids goal setting, challenging themselves, kids loving to be active and supporting one another. Before school you would find Connie running an action based learning lab for kindergarten students combining both academics and physical activity based on the work of Dr. Jean Blaydes.

She works with the guidance counselor to develop activities for character education. Together creating a “starfish” day based on a character trait of the month. Lots of team building and cooperative social interaction. When the school day is over she partnered with her sponsor of the Project Fit America grant, Indiana Regional Medical Center, to offer a program to adults to teach about healthy eating and nutrition. Her principal writes to us “ In my opinion, selfless service and dedication to students are two of the most important qualities of an outstanding teacher. Mrs. Sgriccia has always demonstrated these two qualities.” Connie is the whole package. It comes from her heart and soul and you could not stop her if you tried! She is the very embodiment of what it means to be a National All Star Teacher.

Connie Sgriccia's Programs, Activities & Teaching Philosophy

Back to 2008 All Star Teachers Showcase

All Star Update

Connie Sgriccia, All Star Teacher 2008

Since 2006, we at Penns Manor Elementary continue to incorporate PFA activities/challenges in our physical education classes. The kids are motivated to try their best to increase their fitness levels. Chart and Challenge with the PFA outdoor circuit, and indoor action activities like PFA breakout, PFA ball, cup, scarf-quickness/strength activity, and PFA tennis ball bounce/catch-workout with fun music, keep the kids smiling and active. I have incorporated different tasks to go along with the fitness cup building...which the kids love. An example is dribbling balls to a basketball hoop and taking a shot. If they make it, they get 5 extra cups to build with. We’ve done large group cup builds to encourage creativity, problem solving, and positive social skills.

We are fortunate to have a beautiful nature trail in the wooded area between our high school and elementary building. In the fall and spring we take advantage of hiking the trail. The students enjoy the hike through nature, going over bridges, logs, and using stepping stones to navigate through the various trails. Sometimes we use our digi-walkers to count our steps and give them a real picture of what they are accomplishing in just forty minutes. Some days we end up at the high school track, then jog a few laps and hike back through the woods. What fun!

This winter we began a voluntary walking program each Friday. We call it “Fit Friday”. Students get off the bus and come to the gym or multi-purpose room to walk for about thirty minutes. We pump up the music and the kids walk and talk. This is a break from the sustained silent reading and computer lab programs done Monday through Thursday.It has been very well attended. A great way to start our day and illustrate fitness for life.

Monday through Thursday, Action Lab takes place in the gym for kindergarten students. Progression stations are set up that include activities that encourage integrating the senses, vestibular development, visual development and tracking, and higher level thinking skills. The purpose is to stimulate the brain for learning. We incorporate academics into the movements by writing letters with our feet on the pathway mat, and reading sight words as we balance to walk across a ladder. The kindergarten teachers assist and support me in this program.

We strive at Penns Manor to encourage volunteerism and service to others. Our annual jump rope and hoops for heart event is one way we can physically benefit and give to others. Along with collecting pledge money, all students have the opportunity to buy “kindness grams”, cards with a positive message to give to others. Cost is a quarter each. We sell them during our jump rope/hoops for heart week and deliver them for Valentine’s Day. This year we sold 1,651 kindness grams. Another way to say we care! I’m proud to say we raised $1,640.92 for the American Heart Association.

Another charity, close to my heart, is the American Cancer Society. I have captained our faculty/staff Relay for Life Team the past ten years. But this year in particular, cancer has touched my family. This past winter, within a few weeks of each other, I lost my sister-in-law and father-in-law to cancer. I’ve seen the devastating effects of this disease, and know we must fight for a cure. One way, is to help raise funds for research. Each year we do this through such activities as, monthly faculty bake sales, pot luck luncheons, dress down days, and a Chinese auction. We then walk in the Relay in May. We were able to raise over $1,500. this year.

We continue to promote our character education program through students participating in fun, physical, cooperative games and activities based on the character trait of the month. This is our starfish day...referring to how each of us can make a difference in the lives of others. Our luau is fast approaching, our reward for positive behavior throughout the school year. Some of our activities include: field games-lei relay, sack race, hurdles, and three legged race. The water games are the favorite-Bahama Blast, water balloon toss, and bucket brigade. We have beach volleyball, flag tag, and team tug of war. Fun activities like a giant blow up slide in the gym and a DJ for dancing outside is part of our day. Students really look forward to this end of the year celebration.

Of course, I’m really looking forward to summer. A time to refresh, relax, and enjoy family fun activities. I’m an avid golfer-not a great one! My husband , Tom and I play a lot of golf together. We belong to a club locally, and we like to try different courses on our travels to visit our children. We have a son and daughter, Michael and Christina, who we will get to golf with this summer. They are both Penn State grads, along with my husband…so we are Nittany Lion fans! Michael lives and works in State College, PA. for an engineering firm. Christina is a graduate student studying physical therapy at Duke Univ. in North Carolina. Go Blue Devils! I can’t wait to spend some time with her this summer in N.C. We love to vacation at the beach, and we’ll all meet in July for a fun week together.

Back to school will come quickly, but I’m so fortunate that I enjoy my work. With Project Fit America, I’m given the opportunity to help kids make strides in increasing their fitness levels. Thanks PFA!


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