DERRY — South Range Elementary students are getting bowled over these days. Students participating in the school’s bowling club are enjoying weekly trips to Park Place Lanes in Windham to brush up on their strikes and spares while enjoying time with friends outside the classroom.
About 52 students make up 13 teams, each named for a color of the rainbow. Tracy McGinnis is the club’s coordinator and said there is an appealing nature about bowling.
“They love it,” she said. “They get to be with their friends outside of school. There are all different reasons kids do this.”
Amid the bowling action student chatted, helped each other braid hair and offered advice on the proper way to hit a strike or spare.
“I got a spare,” fourth-grader Hannah Bounel annouced to her fellow gray team members. For Hannah, it’s not only about learning how to bowl, but also what lies at the end of the bowling season.
“It’s fun and you get a trophy,” she said.
Riley Zywusko is in the fifth grade and already is a seasoned bowler.
“I started when I was in the third grade, “ she said.
Having attended bowling birthday parties, Riley said it’s a fun sport and takes a certain level of concentration.
“If you want it to go in the middle, you try to bounce it off the sides,” she said. Those sides are some helpful “bumpers” that line the outer limits of the narrow alleys to give younger bowlers a better chance of striking all or most of the pins. Mcinnis said this was the biggest bowling club membership ever.
At the end of the seaon, children will enjoy an awards ceremony and will be treated to pizza and honors for top bowling scores of the season.
She said she is impressed with the level of commitment and talent this year.
“This is only the third week and they are all learning,” she said. “They come in as newbies and they are bowling.”
“It’s like a play date and the parents don’t have to be out,” McGinnis said.