"Jack the Puppet" gives health lessons the kids love at Troy 30-C school

P.E. teacher Tyler Slowinski uses ventriloquism to give virtual lessons to Troy Cronin Elementary School students


Last updated 3/14/2021 at 9:50pm

Troy Cronin Elementary School students were participating in school P.E. physical activities and games at home during their periods of remote learning this year, and their physical education teacher Tyler Slowinski realized those months were the perfect time to introduce video health lessons for her students. The videos provided some important information, while remaining fun and entertaining and giving everyone the giggles.

The lessons are all online – many of them live – and feature Slowinski’s puppet named Jack. She still does them, even for her students who are back to in-school learning.

She has, in fact, turned into quite the ventriloquist to make Jack talk and laugh. With her help, he also eats and drinks, gestures wildly, brushes his teeth, rides a scooter and makes smoothies .

Slowinski uses the Jack the Puppet adventures to share health issues, including nutrition, wearing a helmet for protection while playing sports and riding bikes, getting enough sleep, properly brushing teeth and washing hands, and such mental and emotional matters as handling peer pressure.

It’s a new adventure for the students and for Slowinski, as well. She bought Jack the Puppet, along with two others (Jasmine and Abuelita Maria), to help make health lessons fun.

“He’s funny to the kids,” she said. “He’s become a personality in the school.”

Jasmine the Puppet has a completely different personality than her cohort, quickly picking up which snacks are good for kids and what ingredients should go in smoothies. Jack, on the other hand, is tempted by Slowinski’s morning coffee and is more likely to try to put cookies in his smoothies than fruits.

The students love every bit of it. Their siblings and even parents will tune in to watch sometimes, as well.

“It’s fun to make people laugh and put some brightness in difficult situations,” Slowinski said.


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