The Prowler

Thank goodness for Friday

Peeples Elementary's Coach Friday seeking one final performance

Bekah Algaze

Bekah Algaze, Staff Writer

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Often called the “Father of the Common School Movement,” renowned education reformer Horace Mann once said, “Teachers teach because they care. Teaching is what they do best. It requires long hours, patience and care.”

Peeples Elementary School physical education teacher of twenty years Deborah Friday embodies Mann’s description of teachers. During her time at Peeples, Coach Friday has taken up the responsibilities of leading several school organizations, such as the running club, the Little Dribblers, and the juggling team.

I think they forget about elementary school memories once they get to high school and want to make so many memories in high school, so I wanted them to have a memory of elementary school that I don’t remember having.”

— Deborah Friday

Friday recently announced that she will retire in December of 2019 due to financially better circumstances, and an age requirement of sixty. She will coach her last group of Little Dribblers in 2019.  Although the future of the Little Dribblers program and other programs remain undetermined, it is Friday’s hope that these programs will continue.

“I hope they will continue, but I don’t know that for sure,” Friday said “ I hope that somebody who comes into Peeples will keep these things going and maybe even bring in new things that the kids will make memories at.”

Friday has been coaching the Little Dribblers for 32 years, and she has been coaching the juggling team for 19 years. She started programs like the Little Dribblers, the juggling team, and running club to provide a memorable and empowering experience for her students.

“I think they forget about elementary school memories once they get to high school and want to make so many memories in high school, so I wanted them to have a memory of elementary school that I don’t remember having,” Friday said.

Along with the benefit of making memories in the children’s elementary school years, there are several advantages correlated with learning basic basketball skills and juggling, such as hand-eye coordination improvements and even an increase in academic performance.

“Juggling has been proved to help with academics because it increases gray matter in the brain and supposedly makes you even smarter,” Friday said.

Friday relies on the support and involvement from the community. Lined up along the gymnasium floor in front of the Little Dribblers, parents, teachers, and even older children who may have been former Little Dribblers themselves, guide the children through the routine.

Friday’s ideal final send off and retirement gift is a reunion for all 493 former jugglers who have gone through the program at Peeples. Next year, her oldest juggler will be 34 years old. It is likely that this final performance will be scheduled for Dec. 20, 2019, the day after students get out of school for the holiday break.  

“I would love to get as many of those jugglers together and come back and do one song for me,” Friday said. “It’s been rewarding for me to see them do it. It’s a fun way to end my career and a great way to begin my career as well.”

When more of the details are sorted out in the foreseeable future, a parent will have a Facebook page organized to start spreading the word to everyone.  If you are a former juggler or know any former jugglers who may be willing to participate, please contact Coach Friday at [email protected].

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1 Comment

One Response to “Thank goodness for Friday”

  1. Susan Krabsen Jensen on December 21st, 2018 8:39 pm

    Our kids are so lucky to have been part of Dribblers and Jugglers at Peeples!!!! Thank you, Coach Friday for all the memories!!!!

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