GRALAND'S EARLY YEARS: PHYSICAL EDUCATION/ PART ONE
The great Chet Preisser will wow you with his memories of physical education at the school:
“In 1928, when I first came to Graland, I was full of ideas and enthusiasm. I wanted a physical education program based on healthful, exciting things to do. Keep the child happy and busy with a word of advice here and correction there, and he/she would grow to a well-adjusted, healthy, strong, responsible individual.
“It was truly a Country Day School. Just one main building, without any wings! A shop was in the basement and a gym on the second floor. There was land, land -- lots of it-- all around the school.
“I remember the old brickyard with row after row of deserted sheds, once used for drying bricks, between First and Third Avenue and between Forest and Grape Streets. These bordered on “canyons” made by the removal of clay. Here Birch Street was a forest of tall, stalky weeds that led to a swamp practically hidden by cattails. Many a teacher was thrown off balance when one of the children walked in carrying a garter snake. The pond near Colorado Boulevard and Ellsworth Street made for a nice hike and exploring, as well as a place to catch frogs, polliwogs, and snakes. To the north was the grassy field now called Cranmer Park. To the east where Clermont Street is now, there were caves and trenches for second-grade cave dwellers to play in. There were no roads to worry about. We even made a three-hole 100-yard golf course (somewhat primitive with sand greens and weedy fairways).
“Beyond all these places to play, we had our own playgrounds which at first consisted of clay which at times was muddy and slippery. This made for unsure footing, dirty shoes, and clothes. We tried a two-inch covering of sand and gravel, but this caused skinned knees and elbows. Little by little, the edges were various pieces of swinging apparatus, goals, (and) we changed the playgrounds into all-grass fields. . .”
Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.