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Effective immediately, all children ages 12-15 are eligible to receive the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, meaning all state residents ages 12 and up can now be protected against COVID-19. The Rensselaer County Health Department will be hosting a Pfizer Vaccine Clinic for 12 to 15 year olds at the McDonough Sports Complex at Hudson Valley Community College on Friday, May 14 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. Children must be accompanied by a parent and bring proof of age. This is a walk-in clinic. No appointment is necessary.

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Goff students playing mini golf in the school gym

Goff Middle School students playing miniature golf in physical education class.

Teaching in a pandemic is a new experience. From social distancing to not sharing supplies, there are countless new challenges for teachers this school year. One thing that is not new, however, is the creativity shown by teachers to provide a fun and engaging learning environment. That is on full display in the Howard L. Goff Middle School gymnasium, which has been transformed into a miniature golf course.

The Goff physical education teachers created the mini golf course on the heels of the Master’s Tournament in mid-November. The teachers used mats, cones, foam noodles and other sports equipment to build a 10-hole mini golf course for students.

“We decided to develop this unit to promote the lifelong sporting activity of golf,” said Physical Education Teacher Tyler Rose.

Mini golf course holeThe mini golf course is spread out throughout the entire gym, and the holes are rearranged each week to keep it challenging and fun for students. There is also a “Challenge Hole” in which students can attempt a Hole-in-One. Students that successfully make the putt (up the ramp into the blue box) are recognized on the Wall of Fame.

The fun activity not only teaches golf, but it adheres to the new health and safety restrictions for schools. Each student uses their own putter and ball, which are then sanitized in between classes.

The Miniature Golf Unit, which concludes on December 16, is not the only new sport introduced at the school this year. Goff students played FootGolf and Disc Golf outdoors earlier this fall.

“These emerging sports are very similar to the game of golf, in terms of objective and rules,” said Mr. Rose, “and they also adhere to the safety guidelines – no sharing equipment and social distancing.”

Once the Miniature Golf Unit ends next week, students will trade in their putters for rackets as they start the Badminton Unit.

View photos of the Miniature Golf Unit below!

Goff students playing mini golf in the school gym

Student putting

Goff students playing mini golf in the school gym