Harbor Heights Elementary School was a blur of activities during the last days of the school year. First, its Culture Fair (Kids’ Corner, June 9) honored various national and ethnic groups which are part of the school population. It was a touching exposure to hitherto unbeknownst experience.
Then came a show to put Barnum and Bailey to shame.
“Harbor Heights Circus Club is a before-school group of 9- through 11-year-old students focused on physical activity, teamwork, sportsmanship and fun,” explained its originator and mentor, PE teacher David Rucci. “Our students spend every Friday morning working on circus skills such as unicycling, plate spinning, juggling, stilt walking and more.”
“It is really fun!” said fifth-grader Lexi Burkhardt. “We work really hard. Mr. Rucci teaches us about teamwork and is an amazing coach. And for classmate Draven Brown, “Circus Club is really fun! It’s one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.”
Lemme tell ya, those kids are fantastic. Unicycles whirl in and out around each other, amazingly without mishap. One young lady seemed to be riding high enough to touch the gymnasium ceiling. Scary. But safe!
For fifth-grader Chole Shatner, “Circus Club is good commitment. It teaches you hard work and responsibility and it’s really fun!”
Classmate Maddie Mcdermott agreed, “You have to put forth effort but it’s worth it in the end.”
Each year the club performs at the school, in the Gig Harbor Maritime Parade, and for different nonprofit organizations. Circus Club was developed from trying to figure out a fun, exciting way to get kids moving. By using circus-themed activities students became engaged and motivated. They consistently challenge themselves by doing activities that take determination and perseverance.
“Circus Club is a great program!” declared fifth-grader Finn Miller. “It’s been a great way to meet friends and show my talents.”
To classmate Penelope Harris, “It is really fun to be in Circus Club. It teaches you to be on task and follow direction. Mr. Rucci puts a lot of hard work into it and I’m glad he has given me the opportunity to be in Circus Club.”
Hugh McMillan is a longtime contributing writer for the Gateway. He can be reached at email@example.com.