Page 23                                                March 19821


Juggling on an elementary level


Juggling and other circus arts have been a part of the physical education program at the Oak View Elementary School in Oakview, VA, for the past 14 years. Jim Moyer, physical education instructor, teaches a special "exhibitional activities" club in which students learn and perform those skills.


"We've just gone over the 1,000 mark in performances," Moyer said proudly. He was inspired to begin the program from by his own physical education instructor at the University of Virginia during his college years. "We've been on PM Magazine TV shows, Kidsworld, done parades and ACC basketball halftime shows. The total show includes rolling globe, unicycling, stilt walking, acrobatics, German gym wheel, juggling and contortion."


A total of 60 students participate. But all students at Oakview are encouraged to learn juggling in their phys ed classes beginning in the third grade. A visit to the school by Dave Finnigan, "Professor Confidence" from Juggle Bug, stirred a lot of enthusiasm in the student body last year.


Moyer said, "I think it's important to teach them all the basics of three object juggling for their hand­eye coordination and the pure enjoyment of it. I also think it gives them a feeling of accomplishment and helps them feel good about themselves. ,.


A few, like Scott Mean, have learned five balls and want to attend the IJA's Santa Barbara convention. Joel Dempsey, the national unicycle champ in trick riding in 1980, is also an enthusiastic juggler at Oak View.


The daily after-school practices wear you down after 14 years, Moyer said, but he's not giving it up yet. "When I see them progress, and when they all stand up and clap for me at performances, then I know it's worthwhile," he concluded.

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