COLD SPRING, Minn. -- The entire 6th grade at Cold Spring Elementary was assembled in the school atrium to see Mr. Zauhar's class receive their check as the champions of Wild About School, but their collective attention span was about to be hijacked.
"What was that?" somebody asked, as a figure raced past them.
"That" was Nordy, the not-quite cat, not-quite wolf, bear, elk, etcetera, mascot of the Minnesota Wild. Nordy's antics entertained the crowd while Mr. Zauhar's 6th grade class gathered before their peers to receive their just reward.
"On behalf of Wells Fargo, KARE 11 and your Minnesota Wild", said KARE 11 Sunrise anchor Tim McNiff. "A check for $1,100 as winners of Wild About School program, congratulations."
Mr. Zauhar and his kids were justifiably proud of their accomplishment, and make no mistake about it, this was a team effort.
Said 6th grader Maria Guzman, "We took the time every week to you know, go on the computer, research as a whole group, when everybody was in the classroom, just taking time and figuring out the answers."
And that they did. Mr. Zauhar likes to use an interactive activities to teach his class, and Wild About School fit right in.
"You learn a lot about different countries and where the Minnesota players are from", said 6th grader Grant Homes.
Turns out, this isn't the first time that Mr. Zauhar has had a class featured on KARE 11.
Kim Insley profiled Mr. Zauhar's class back in 2007, for a feature on the use of stability balls in the classroom. Stability balls are those big, exercise balls that the students are now sitting on instead of traditional chairs. The thought is that the kids burn-off extra energy by bouncing on the balls, thereby paying more attention in class. It's a practice that has expanded throughout Cold Spring Elementary.
Says Teacher Jake Zauhar, "My classroom actually trains the other students in the building in how to use the balls. We take care of all the repairs, they're kind of the experts. The kids have now become the experts, it's been a great, great project."
Mr. Zauhar has had his classes participate in Wild About School and Gridiron Geography for years, but, now they've got $1,100 dollars to work with.
"We've talked about student technology, more stability balls for our classroom and equipment for that", says Jake Zauhar.
However they decide to use the money, our champs say, it's an experience they will always remember.
Said Jake Zauhar, "It's been a great experience".
(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)