by Marketing Specialist Lindsey Klyn

Osky High Athletic Training Room
L-R: Athletic Trainer Laura Norberg, Senior Blake Van Veldhuizen, Senior Brandt Brown, and Physical Therapist Carol Kelderman smile in front of the newly renovated taping table

If you’re a student at Oskaloosa High, you have the opportunity to take Mrs. Anna Gritters’ Written Communications course. It’s a college-prep writing class that approximately 75-125 students choose to take each year. But the course does more than just prepare students for college writing courses. It’s helping them make real differences right in their community.

Oskaloosa High worked hard over the past few years to get their students to do real-world research while working with adults in the area through project-based learning (PBL). Mrs. Gritters came up with her own PBL assignment around five years ago. She requires her students to write an essay about what improvements they could see making a difference in the school or community and then puts them in groups to actually figure out the logistics of what it would take to make that change take place.

Through this assignment, students noticed the athletic training room at the school could use some improvements.

“We use this room pretty much every day, and it wasn’t top notch,” shared Senior Blake Van Veldhuizen. “We knew we could make it better than it was.”

Alongside their group, Blake Van Veldhuizen and Brandt Brown began to research this idea. They called and emailed multiple companies to find out pricing information. They set up interviews with administration and teachers to find ways to offset costs of brand-name equipment. They talked to fellow students to see how high the demand was for improvements to the training room. Then they wrapped this all up into a presentation to share with their classmates, parents, and teachers at Oskaloosa High’s PBL night.

“A lot of people supported the idea,” shared Senior Brandt Brown. “We just needed the money to make it happen.”

In March of 2017, Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy’s Oskaloosa Clinic Manager Carol Kelderman contacted the school wondering how donations they had raised through their Join the Movement program could best be put to use, unaware of the recent PBL presentations. Through their Join the Movement program, Kinetic Edge donates to a local non-profit any time one of their clients refers a friend or family member to them for therapy. After speaking with several different activity groups around the school, Activities Director Ryan Parker mentioned Brandt and Blake’s idea.

“When Mr. Parker told me the athletic training room could use work, I thought that was perfect!” shared Physical Therapist and Clinic Manager Carol Kelderman. “We couldn’t ask for a better match for Kinetic Edge since we provide athletic training coverage for the school and regularly treat their athletes in our clinic.”

Osky High AT Room-16

Thanks to Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy’s donation of $1,000, renovations to the athletic training room began. The Kinetic Edge team along with Brown and Van Veldhuizen added a fresh coat of paint, brought in a new cabinet to help with the room’s organization and add counterspace, purchased a new treatment table, and hung décor around the room. One of the biggest changes came with the new taping table, which was renovated from an old science cabinet so that four athletes can sit on it to be taped.

“The renovation is awesome and makes this a much more functional space,” shared Kinetic Edge’s Athletic Trainer Laura Norberg who cares for all the school’s student-athletes. “The addition of the taping table means I don’t have to bend over so much which is good for my back and also allows me to more quickly get kids taped up and out to practice since at least four of them can sit in a row on it.”

Norberg provides injury prevention, screens, and care, and all of her services are free for students of Oskaloosa High. She’s onsite at the school’s athletic training room, located between the boys’ and girls’ locker room, every Monday from 3:30-5:00 PM and every Wednesday from 2:30-4:00 PM and covers all home varsity events, away football games, and JV football games.

Parker shared that Oskaloosa High already has 160 students out for fall sports and anticipates that number to rise well over 200 before the end of the year. Norberg estimates she serves an average of fifteen students each day from the athletic training room, and the new space will allow her to serve the students better than ever before.