Integrated P.E. Takes on Bowling


Evelyn Herbert

Integrated Physical Education classes take a bowling field trip on Nov. 21, 2022.

By Ammy Diaz, Evelyn Herbert, Staff Writer and Photo Editor

Students in Integrated PE took a field trip to Bowlero on Monday, Nov. 21. The field trip was planned by both the life skills teachers and Integrated PE teacher Dan Vanderjeugdt.

“We chose to take our integrated kids bowling because we’ve been practicing [bowling] in class and we wanted to have the kids have a real experience of going to a real bowling alley. They get to participate in a sport that they can do the rest of their lives,” Vanderjeugdt said. 

Integrated PE is a PE class that involves general education students and life-skills students. They do activities such as bowling, basketball, swimming, and soccer. After finishing their bowling unit, they decided to go to a bowling alley before the break.

“We decided to go bowling because we like to do different experiences that students learn or work on in school. They then can use these skills in their daily lives. We figured this would be a fun activity for students to do, especially right before Thanksgiving break. It works on their social skills and different things we’ve been learning in PE which is awesome,” life skills teacher, Sarah Murphy said. 

Senior Rachel Lee has been working with the life skills students since her freshman year. She is currently an Executive Member of the Council for Exceptional Children.

“Bowling experience is fun because it relates to what we’re doing in gym class.  I’m glad the kids get to interact with the non-life skills students because it gives everyone a chance to get to know everyone better,” Lee said.

There are two Integrated PE classes at West, and before this field trip, many of the people from the two classes didn’t know each other. This allowed many of the life skills students to socialize with students from the other period.

“I’m here, at Bowlero, and having a lot of fun with my friends,” junior Ricky Riley said. “I’m having a lot of fun bowling, too. I love talking with all my friends on the bus and eating cheese pizza and drinking water.”

The trip ended up being not only fun and engaging for many of the life skills students, but for many of the general education students as well.

“I think this field trip was a success for [everyone]. It was a really good [bonding experience], and they really liked the pizza and the drinks. I thought that was it was an awesome trip and it’s just a really great experience overall,” sophomore Cami Smith said.  

A life skills student, Senior Taha Mohammed, will participate in the Special Olympics of Illinois’ State Bowling Tournament on December 3rd in Peoria. On this field trip, after Mohammed scored a spare, he spun around and bowed for his friends. 

This is the first time that the life skills students have taken a bowling field trip since the pandemic.