Rather than making kids do laps around a gym track, an alternative school in Iowa is allowing their students to earn their physical education credits by helping disabled and senior citizens.

At most traditional high schools, students can finish their PE course by pursuing sports or other after-school activities.

The students at the Alternative Learning Center in Dubuque, however, are being encouraged to fulfill their PE requirements by doing yard work for people in the community who are unable to do it themselves.

The learning center is specifically geared towards junior and senior high students who are at risk of dropping out of traditional schools.

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Tim Hitzler, the teacher who launched the program, has been supervising the volunteer students’ yard work over the course of the last few weeks – and he says it has had a noticeable impact on the teens as well as the homeowners.

“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,” Hitzler told KWWL.

“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,” he added. “What they really like is … helping people. They really like giving back to people and meeting the person.”

(WATCH the news coverage below)

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