BY JANE McINNIS
Last week, Montevideo Elementary's physical education classes were a little different from norm: rather than ball being played on the courts, wheelchair obstacle courses became the main activity.
The school participated in the Wheelchair Foundation program, a charity organization rgar raises money for wheelchair distribution worldwide while fostering perspective to younger students who live without disabilities.
"For us it's a whole different world," said fifth-grader Shrena Sudhakar, 10, who participated in the program.
Schools across San Ramon, Danville, Alamo and Pleasanton participated in the fundraiser this year.
Last week, students took turns riding and guiding classmates in red wheelchairs around an obstacle course set up by P.E. instructor Michelle Cabrita.
[See Michelle Cabrita's video about the project on the school website here.]
Cones proved tricky for students to maneuver around on their own, often being knocked over or caught under the wheelchair.
"I tell the students the cones represent maybe a big rock or a pot hole in the road," Cabrita said, helping students imagine the obstacles others have to overcome.
After the lesson, students talked about how much work it took to get around in the wheelchairs.
"It changed my perspective because I thought you could just zoom around places fast [in a wheelchair], but it took me so long just to get to the half-way point," said Zaid Fattah, 10.
"I never want to do it again in my life because my arms ache," said Kavya Anand, 10.
To see more photos and videos of the program at Montevideo Elementary, click here.