Hoop Olympics

Ryan Uphoff, his wife Enriqueta, and their daughter Taylor, 5, at Hoop Olympics on Saturday, May 11, 2019. "We think this is the greatest place on earth.," said Uphoff, "Nate and the teachers are a blessing to Porterville."

At Hoops Olympics on Saturday, May 11, 76 preschoolers  called “Hoopsters” and their parents had fun together participating in 11 exciting challenges in an hour-and-half of perfectly organized preschool fun. 

The Olympic challenges for preschoolers and their parents  included an obstacle course, a long jump, frisbee golf, bowling, shooting hoops, kicking a soccer ball, drawing, balancing on a rubber block wall, racing shopping carts, and a water race.  

Parents, grandparents, and great grandparents alike were having a ball, keeping track of all the fun activities the children were enjoying. 

Before the Olympics began, there was a graduation ceremony for senior Hoopsters, who would be moving on to kindergarten. 

Hoops Director Nathan Wobrock said a short prayer “thanking Jesus for everything,” and said, “Let us remember, my Mom means everything to me, Happy Mother’s Day,” before beginning the fun.

One of Wobrock’s mottos is “Time meanings everything,” encouraging parents to spend as much time with their children as possible.

“We are so blessed with an amazing staff,” he said. “Let’s have a great day, and boys and girls have a great time!,” before the challenges began.

Angie Nava sat with her son, Isiah, and watched the graduation of various students. Isiah has been attending Hoops for two years, and Angie said the environment is good and it helps children’s motor skills and confidence. 

“It’s a fun activity for the kids and their parents have bonding time at the Olympics,” said Nava. “The school is great and the staff are very knowledgeable. We are very happy and blessed to have Hoops in Porterville.”

Wobrock has been doing Hoops Olympics for 11 years said Olivia Vega, Hoops Office Manager. There are 135 children enrolled in the preschool, and 76 were participating in the Olympics.

“Hoops Olympics is an awesome event,” said Isaac Gonzales, with his son Jakoby, 3. They had just finished going through the obstacle course together in a room in the preschool, then kicking a soccer ball, and having a blast together. “It’s all about the kids and spending time with them. Mr. Nate really likes to emphasize how important spending time with our children is. This is our first year at Hoops and we fell in love from day one.”

Another parent, Ryan Uphoff, said, “We think this is the greatest place on Earth. Nate and the teachers are a blessing to Porterville. This is our third year with our daughter Taylor at Hoops.”

Sierra and Jessa, 4-year-old twins, were having fun on the balance blocks event, and their mother Phaedra said, “This is their first year at Hoops and they are having a lot of fun today. This is the best place in town for preschoolers. Everyone is so loving and kids learn so much here.”

“What a great weekend we’ve had,” said Wobrock. All of the children who participated received small medals for each event, and had their pictures taken by staff and parents multiple times during the day. There are hundreds of photographs of families with their children all over the school, on the walls, and in the various offices. 

During the event, about 20 students from Granite Hills ACE Pathways Education Academy helped with the preschoolers and inside the school, organizing and keeping things clean and orderly.

They all enjoyed working at Hoops tremendously, and said they would like to return to help next year. Rebecca Ziejesus, 14,  who is studying to become a teacher, summed it up for them all when she said, “It was a fun experience helping out with the little Hoopsters, and being with all these little kids is inspiring.”

Daniel Arroyo, 17, added, “having Nate Wobrock as their guest speaker during their freshman year at Granite Hills was inspiring.”

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