COMMUNITY SERVICES DEPARTMENT
The Menlo Park Gymnastics Program
is a comprehensive, developmental program designed for
gymnasts of all ages. Gymnastics is the foundation for
all athletic education. Through the safe and enjoyable
mastery of sequential gymnastics skills, our participants
enjoy the rewards of physical and mental fitness.
The Gymnastics program at Menlo Park averages over 1500
students each week. Menlo Park Gymnastics offers classes
for one-year-old students through adult, boys and girls,
preschool through adult. The program operates at the
Burgess Sports Center from 8:30 in the morning to 8:30
at night Monday through Friday and on Saturday from
8:30 to 5:00. Saturday afternoons and all day Sunday
the gym is open for Birthday parties. Menlo Park Gymnastics
offers classes in artistic
gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, pre-school gymnastics,
cheerleading, tumbling, Special Olympics, birthday parties
and private lessons. In addition to the programs at
Burgess Sports Center, the gymnastics program offers
services to the Belle Haven Child Development Center
and the Belle Haven Summer School program.
Our mission is to promote
the health benefits of physical activity, proper nutrition,
good sleep habits, a well-balanced lifestyle including
school, friends, social responsibilities, and the discipline
and pleasures of participating in an artistic sport.
Our purpose is to teach children first, gymnastics second,
and safety always. In a fun and exciting format, children
are challenged to think and then respond with a purposeful
controlled movement, thereby improving sensory functions
and developing a positive self-image. We offer a safe
and enjoyable environment in which our students may
learn gross motor, fine motor, social, and language
The staff for Menlo Park Gymnastics includes Pearce
Wagner, Program Coordinator; Karen Mihalek and Savina
Krakowski, Program Assistants; and Cedy Fisher, Matt
Methner, and Victoria Woods.
Gymnastics is proud to promote gymnastics as a means
to develop skills of a lifetime for individuals. Pre-School
movement classes help provide the individual with
the all-important social skills necessary to be an
adult. Problem solving, sharing, and waiting your
turn (patience) are skills we all use every day of
our life. If this is all we did, it would probably
be enough, however Gymnastics provides so much more.
Take the example of one of our former students; Megan
started in Menlo Park's Pre-School gymnastics classes
at 5 years old, she learned gross motor skills, basic
movement patterns and hand eye coordination. Interaction
with other children her age and the adults that were
present helped her develop important social skills.
As Megan progressed through the developmental program,
her physical skills went far beyond that of the average
person. Gymnasts are among the strongest and most
flexible athletes in the world and this allowed Megan
to easily participate and be successful in a wide
variety of physical activities. Her positive experience
in gymnastics gave her the tools to excel in many
other sports and physical activities.
continued in the sport, a wide range of opportunities
presented themselves to her. She had the opportunity
to improve her skills as an individual, to contribute
to the success of a competitive team and to travel
and meet a wide range of other athletes. The increased
level of physical activity, working with her coaches
and teammates, and learning more complex skills allowed
her to develop further as an athlete and student.
Many of the techniques and progressions learned in
gymnastics helped her in school, particularly in her
chosen field of marine biology. She was able to understand
cause and effect, sequential development, complex
patterns and physical science.
our best reward for teaching gymnastics comes when
a student becomes the teacher. Megan, along with many
of our former students, has been among some of our
best teachers here at Menlo Park Gymnastics. She has
taught classes from Pre-School to team classes.
Her maturity and confidence is a direct result from
her experiences here at Menlo Park Gymnastics and
the skills that she has learned here will surely last