Big air comes to Berry Creek Middle School
Big air was in the house on the last day of classes at Berry Creek Middle School Thursday.Bob Robbins and Charles Manning, the “Pro-Action Team,” brought a combination of comedy, high-flying trampoline stunts and a message about personal responsibility to an all-school assembly. There were plenty of oohs and ahhs during the technical routines, most of the kids laughed at the jokes, and a good number seemed to be paying attention.The message, in a nutshell, is: take responsibility for your actions; stop harmful behavior before it becomes a problem; and set high standards for yourself, even when no one else is looking. “If you’re bored in life, you’re not doing enough,” Manning told the students.
It’s that message, of course, that the adults want to get through to the kids, especially right before summer vacation. But can a pair of high-flying trampoline artists get through to a bunch of middle schoolers anxious for both lunch and the final bell of the school year.Seventh grade teacher Michael Moser said programs like Pro-Action’s are a benefit.”It helps kids to see what they can achieve through hard work and making the right choices,” Moser said.And some kids seemed to have gotten the message.”I thought it was fun and funny,” student Tony Beltran said. “They were worth listening to.”
But others were less impressed. “I liked most of it, but the comedy part was pretty stupid – it was pretty teachy,” student Drew Vesey said. “Younger kids might think it’s funny, though.””I thought it was funny,” added classmate Josh Kendolf. “I guess I’m a younger kid.”Reaching kids is always a challenge, but “This is the toughest day of the year to do this,” Manning said. “I’d say about 90 percent of the kids today were paying attention.” The ones who weren’t paying attention aren’t worth worrying about, Robbins said, noting that he and Manning play to the kids who are engaged in the performance.
The kids who are paying attention make it worth the duo’s efforts. And most crowds respond in kind. In fact, Manning said has been the “student-motivation business” for 20 years. “There have only been two crowds I wouldn’t perform to again,” he said. Student motivationTo learn more about the Pro-Action Team, go to http://www.proactionteam.org