P.E. coach's unusual field trip makes a difference - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

P.E. coach's unusual field trip makes a difference

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Hayneville Road Elementary School P.E. Coach Greg Pernell Hayneville Road Elementary School P.E. Coach Greg Pernell
A math professor explains a problem to students from Hayneville Rd. Elementary School. A math professor explains a problem to students from Hayneville Rd. Elementary School.
Students learn to love math on this field trip... Students learn to love math on this field trip...

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - They came by the dozens, 3rd and 4th graders showing up at Alabama State University for an enlightened experience.

"How many students actually go to college campus and meet with a math instructor," said Hayneville Road Elementary School P.E. Coach Greg Pernell.

A tour of a major college for the first time. A big deal in the eyes Pernell who spearheaded the trip.

"Exposed them to something different, something to look forward to especially on the secondary level,' Pernell said.

Big buildings, small buildings, walking across a wide campus. A totally different environment than spending an entire day in a single elementary school classroom. Pretty cool if you talk to 11-year old DeMarquis Russell.

"I met football coaches and a biology teacher," said Russell.

Once inside an ASU classroom Hayneville Road Elementary School reading coach Rebecca Pines talked about that very same subject.

"A lot of classes will meet in the building," Pines told the children.

There was another reason why Pernell brought the kids at ASU. Math. As you might imagine the very word causes a crippling fear in many people including Pernell who admitted something to us.

"It's personal. A lot of students failed math during including myself in high school," Pernell said.

That's why Pernell had an ASU math professor come in and scribble a few things on the board. He talked about 'probability,' the math concept that helps us figure out the likelihood of something happening.

There was no question the probability lesson was probably over their heads considering the kids right now are learning simple math in school.

"It was a little too much for them to digest," said Pernell.

But that's okay. Pernell says the point is exposure and not being afraid of college and those difficult courses that are sure to come down the pike.

"Don't accept your limitations," Pernell said.

It seems as though Greg Pernell got his message across with this field trip. 9-year old Tatyana Hardy believes she is ready for the next step.

"I'm ready for college," she said with smile. Not quite, of course, but add it up and in 9 years she will be.

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