Friday, August 6, 2010


(Daquan Richardson laughs after he falls from his stilts.)

As the 2nd Summer Session of the BUGS Summer Program began, our students had the opportunity to learn stilt walking from Nana Projects, a local company of stilt walkers who teach and perform around the city. Annie Howe, along with Ms. Valeska, Ms. Kisling and Ms. Niko, came to the Living Classrooms campus to teach our students about stilt walking.

(Ms. Annie helps Jerrel Mack get comfortable on the stilts.)

On the 1st day, Ms. Annie and her fellow teachers taught the students how to fall. There is a correct way for stilters to fall. If you find that you'll begin to fall, it is best to fall forward, bending and landing on your knees and breaking the end of the fall with your hands. While the students were practicing on the field, it began to rain and the remainder of the session happened in the Great Room.

(Keshaun Watkins walking with only one hand with Ms. Annie.)

Once the stilts were placed on the students, each one of the teachers would be a spotter - someone who would help the student get comfortable walking on the stilts. Practicing in the Great Room was so beneficial for the students. There were pillars that they could walk to.
This gave them a real and tangible distance for them to find attainable. They walked from pillar to pillar to the chairs or scaled along the wall to get comfortable. By the end of the 1st day, some of the boys were walking on their own.

(Ms. Annie ties stilts onto KeShaun.)

(Daquan making it look easy.)

On the 2nd day, we all ventured outside. The stilts were tied on. The boys with a spotter walked to the railing. They had a longer distance and a wider space to walk in the stilts. After some coaxing and ease, they began to venture around on the ground. They fell, got back up, fell again and got back up. They tried and reached their goal.
(Jailen Johnson scaling the rail.)

(Mr. Al wearing taller stilters and a carnival hat.)
(Allen Wright charging ahead.)
(Mr. Al braving the taller stilts.)

It was the final day of stilt walking with the boys. Ms. Annie was able to bring hats and sequenced vests for us to wear. We had a marching parade around the field and on the walkway. We were like avatars with our long legs prancing about.

(Mr. Al with Jerrel, Jerwon Mack, KeShaun and Daquan marching onward.)

On the last day, we wore our hats and vests and took a group picture. Ms. Annie and her crew gave each one of the boys a Certificate of Completion. The certificate stated that each of them were officially stilt walkers. What a great experience for them!

(Mr. Al with all the boys - Jerwon, Jailen, KeShaun, Daquan, Allen, Jerrel, Harry Santos and DeAndre Berry.)

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