Gym class is the worst, I think we can all agree. Nobody truly wants to be forced to hang out with their stinky teenage classmates in gym shorts. But one school in Iowa has found an uplifting, positive new spin on PE.

The Alternative Learning Center is an alternative school in eastern Iowa. They’re giving students the option to earn PE credit by doing yard work for the elderly and disabled.

This school isn’t just your average high school, though. The school is specifically for high school juniors and seniors who are at risk of dropping out of school, so they offer students coursework outside of the traditional high school setting.

As part of the curriculum, students can spend the last two weeks choosing activities that will go toward their PE credits. Volunteering to do yard work is one option.

Students might help with a range of activities, teacher Tim Hitzler explained to KWWL.

“The students and I and other students come out and help them. Could be raking leaves, pulling weeds, cutting grass, cleaning gutters, just depends on what they need,” Tim said.


The kids aren’t super huge fans of the yard work initially. But it helps out the community, and they often enjoy that aspect of the work.

“The students aren’t typically too excited at the beginning but once they get involved and start doing the yard work they become more motivated. What they really like is A: helping people. They really like giving back to people and meeting the person.”