Middle school students rewarded with outdoor fun

The return of fresh snow may be very unwelcome to many people in the Upper Peninsula., but for western Marquette County middle school students, it was the perfect ingredient for outdoor fun.

Students from Aspen Ridge School visited the tube slide at Ishpeming’s Al Quaal Recreation Area. It was a reward for good grades and good behavior.

“This is the first time (being here) for me this winter,” Aspen Ridge eighth–grader Marissa Carello said. “It’s fun after working so hard. We had exams, too, so taking a break is good.”

Cliffs Natural Resources paid for the tube slide trip through a grant. This is the third time that Aspen Ridge physical education teacher Ryan Reichel has been able to secure grant money from Cliffs.

“Having a company like Cliffs supply opportunities for these kids is just amazing,” Reichel said. “We’ve got over 300 kids being able to come out and utilize this tubing hill. A lot of these kids didn’t even know this was here or had never been here.”

They even talked me onto the hill. The vantage point from my tube, which you’ll see toward the end of this story, doesn’t look so good because of the need to keep the kicked–up snow away from the camera I was using, but it was definitely a fun ride!