POSTURE AND GYMNASTICS Many gymnastics fan s have started pro· grams in areas of the U.s.A. by means of a clinic that ha s grown into an area or national event. Others have created truly great annual gymnastic even ts in the form of top·level competitions. It is always of interest to us when someone utilizes a truly uniqu e and imaginative approach in bringing gymnastics into the Jives of American youngsters. This then , is the story of "POSTURE AND GYMNASTICS" a story of the Tulsa, Oklahoma Public Schools systems unique and sti mulatin g program tying together the many fitness ben efit s of gymna stics and the improve· ment of posture through improved muscle ton e of the body. Tulsa, Oklahoma is a most progressive city of several hundred thousand people. Deep in the heart of the Oklahoma oil country this modern city boasts a new and efficient Education Center that houses the adminislrali ve office of the Tulsa Public Schools. Tulsa had for some years utilized a posture program which involved photo· graphing subjects, comparisons of improve· ments, etc. A few short years ago , :Mrs. Beatrice Lowe, Supervii"or of Elementary and Secondary Physical Education, became con· vinced of the values of participation in gymnastic activities in improving student fitness and, in turn , posture. It was some·
what new, calling for a change of CUT· riculum and attitude on the part of several hundred teachers of physical education. Further, it called for equipment for schools and there were not fund s available at the time to buy equipmen t for the program. IvIrs. Lowe turned to the use of pipe (welded into pieces of basic equipment) and wood (balance beams). The teachers in the system were a most dedicated group and set to the task of creating an entirely new program. Several workshops followed and from that base the teachers, Mrs. Lowe and her staff developed an extensive program for the events in use. In 1966, the Tulsa program had such a high level of performance that Mrs. Lowe began to urge the administration for full·sized and professionally made gym· nastics equipment. Th e performances of the youn gsters are excellent, and in every instance marked by an over·sized smile that reflect s the enthusiasm of both young· sters and teachers. This excellent new pro· gram will undoubtedly continue to grow and the many dollars that used to go into static photographs will now perhaps be
by A. BRUCE FREDERICK WISCONSIN STATE UNIV. DEPT. OF P.E. & ATHLETICS SUPERIOR, WISe. 54881 applied to equipment that will be used in active and muscle·tone developing pro· grams. Tulsa deserves a commendation for a city and an education sys tem, that has shown willingness of change from old established patterns when the need for a revision of program is indicated. Mrs. Lowe, her staff at the Education Center and above all else the group of fine teach· ers, each of whom demonstrates a willing· ness to work right with the youngsters all deserve applause for their effort on behalf of their students. Gymnastics will one day be an integral part of the Jives of many Tulsa children and thanks to their teach· ers and school administrators they will be healthier and happier for it.
Bel ow: 1. Doreen Brunnett, Debbie Th omas and Deanna Brummett from Irving Elementary. 2. Young ladies from Cleveland Jr. High. 3 . Students from Johnson Elementary. 4. Reggie Westmacott, Bobby and Wayne Mayfield (Irving) . 5 . Dianna Wolfenbarger, Deanne Brummett, Paula Privette and teacher Eula Griffin from Irv ing School, Tulsa, Oklahoma.