Call them board meetings. It’s one way to describe a new skateboard club launched at Three Rivers School in Sunriver. The goal is to bring middle schoolers together around a popular activity not usually encouraged on school campuses.
“It’s all be very positive. They’re here and they’re here to skate,” said social studies teacher and club sponsor Deanna Anguilla.
“Everybody’s welcome as long as you want to try it,” she says.
One of the skateboarders we talked to on this day says he’s been doing it for four weeks.
“We have another kid who’s sponsored by a skate shop. So a whole wide range of levels and abilities,” said Anguilla.
The idea for the club had been kicked around for awhile. It got a big push thanks to a $2,500 grant from the Portland Trail Blazers Foundation.
“Without it, we wouldn’t have been able to get the club off the ground,” says Anguilla.
She bought the ramps, rail and box, plus some boards and protective gear. Helmets are required to participate.
“It’s kind of free-flowing. They can do stuff on their own but still be around other people and make friends,” says Anguilla.
On the day we visited the club, we watched as more experienced boarders helped out some of the newer ones.
Anguilla has games and skill-building exercises planned as part of the club.
“I hope we can continue that and help fulfill that sense of purpose and a positive incentive for behavior and academics just like any other school sport for kids who otherwise wouldn’t have that,” she says.
Anguilla says she used to skate in middle school and high school. But these days, she sticks to cruising on her longboard.