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Oakdale students get ready for Super Bowl

Isabella Parise, 4, of Oakdale, learns to pass

Isabella Parise, 4, of Oakdale, learns to pass a football to her classmate Keith Baaske, of Oakdale. (Feb. 2, 2012) Credit: Erin Geismar

Isabella Puco tugged her ponytail through the crown-like paper helmet she wore for football day at her preschool on Thursday and got to work lacing a paper football.

The Bohemia 4-year-old was dressed in a blue Giants T-shirt that was her mother’s. Both of her parents and one of her brothers are Giants fans, she said.

“But my other brother Nicholas is a Jets fan,” she said. “I like the Jets, too, but my mom won’t let me cheer for them.”

At the Arthur Premm Learning Center in Oakdale, students learned the ins and outs of football to get them ready for the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Principal Gail Cholden said the activities helped the pupils - some of whom were special education students - refine their fine and gross motor skills, but more importantly, made them aware of the world around them.

“We just wanted them to be a part of current events,” she said. “And this is the biggest current event in New York state.”

In the gymnasium, they learned to pass, kick and snap the ball, as well as scream ‘Touchdown!,’ and make intimidating “football faces.”

Their teacher, Jennifer Magnusson, said her class was made up of students of varying abilities, but this was a lesson they were all excited about and could appreciate.

“When you walk into this classroom, you can’t tell who’s special needs,” she said. “They are all learning to follow directions and participate in social activities, and they are excited about it.”

Back in the classroom, the kids sat at their seats lacing footballs and decorating Giants-themed cupcakes, which turned their tongues the color of their Giants jerseys -- although there was some green among the sea of blue and red.

“To be honest, I’m a Jets fan,” said Cholden, who was wearing a white and red Giants jersey and opened the school at 6:30 that morning to decorate it in Giants paraphernalia. “But everyone will be a Giants fan on Sunday. We’re New York fans.”

Picture: Isabella Parise, 4, of Oakdale, learns to pass a football to her classmate Keith Baaske, also of Oakdale.


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