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Williamsburg Schools Host Arts and Humanities Day with Help from UC


Williamsburg, KY., - Physical activity. That was the theme of Williamsburg Independent Schools Arts and Humanities program. On January 30th, students in grades preschool through sixth grade were provided courses, that fall under the category of Arts and Humanities with an emphasis in dance and Practical Living with an emphasis in Physical Education (PE). There were a total of 8 stations in which the students participated. All of this was completed with the expertise of several UC instructors.

The first class of the morning was led by Jenine Leskiw, an adjunct instructor at UC and active parent of Williamsburg Elementary students. She provided the students with lessons on dance. For 20 minute sessions, Leskiw instructed 61 5th and 6th graders, teaching that dancing is moving and is a skill that is always used sometimes without even knowing it. The dance of choice that morning was a step-touch dance. Through this style of dance Leskiw was able to teach the student’s movements like swinging, striking, bouncing, twisting, kicking, hopping, and much more. There was a great energy in the room as the student’s danced actively to “What Does the Fox Say?” Leskiw stressed that when teaching any subject area, you should use visual, auditory, and kinesthetic teaching tools, and it is those tools that assist learning by including whole body movements in those activities.


“The possibilities are endless,” added Leskiw. “The students go home with a smile and a healthier heart. It was my goal for this program to expose students to the joy of dancing and for them to realize that dance is simply movement with a purpose. Our focus was to use energy and emotion to create a performance. The students were challenged to follow my choreography and create some of their own as well.”

The next class students got the opportunity to attend was led by B.J. Temple, UC’s Track and Field assistant coach and assistant professor in UC’s Health, Exercise, and Sports Science department. It was his goal to teach the students about dynamic warm-up. The goal was to show students the correct way to effectively stretch and warm-up the body without straining and ways to help prevent injury during activity. For this 20 minute session, Temple, along with members of his coaching staff instructed 4th graders. Posture was the first skill taught to the students. These skills among others were used to show students with these tools they can live a long and healthy life.

“I thought the program went really well, commented Temple. “As a coach and educator I don't think there is anything more important we can teach our students, especially young students, than the importance of exercise and making healthy choices. This program was meant to be fun and educational and I believe we accomplished those goals.”

After this program ended, the students reflected on their experiences. Students in 1st-6th grade wrote about their experiences in journal entries and the pre-schoolers drew pictures.

Williamsburg Independent School District’s (WISD) Director of Instruction, Loren Connell, has teamed up with professors and administration from the University of the Cumberlands (UC) in collaboration with Professional Learning Communities (PLC) projects in hopes of setting higher standards for his students and teachers and instilling college readiness.

“It is nice to receive help from UC whenever we reach out for it,” said Connell. “We are pleased to have this opportunity and be able to put college readiness on our students’ desks with projects like these. With the help and support of UC and the community, we hope to excel and move Williamsburg Independent School forward.”

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; 10 pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs. For more information visit