By Joel Hillan

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– Katie Collins teaches literacy at Columbia Middle School and really seems to take an interest in her students.

Some of her students told CBS4’s Joel Hillan that they really enjoy her class.

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(credit: CBS)

“She’s positive, she’s entertaining, she’s funny and she helps us learn a lot of things,” said 6th grader Pethuel Ofori.

Collins also runs a program called Cougar Fit where kids get a chance to be active before starting the school day.

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(credit: CBS)

“It helps me get focused and ready to learn for school,” said Pethuel.

6th grader Katelynne Wiegand loves it too.

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Katelynne Wiegand (credit: CBS)

“I like being active, it’s really fun, instead of being in electronics all the time, it’s nice to just go outside.”

One of the activities Collins would love to have the students participate in is rock climbing.

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(credit: CBS)

“I saw the gym and it looked like a great place for a wall.”

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She says she was never good at running or team sports, but when she tried rock climbing, she fell in love with it.

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Katie Collins (credit: CBS)

“You don’t have to be super strong to be successful as long as you can think through a problem and make a route work for you.”

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(credit: Katie Collins)

The kids love the idea of a rock wall in their gym too.

“I’m really excited because I think it’s going to challenge me and make me go a little bit out of my comfort zone and it’s nice to take risks sometimes,” said Katelynne.

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Pethuel Ofori (credit: CBS)

“It will keep us focused, it will also teach us trust, responsibility and it will teach us strategy,” said Pethuel.

The school district does not have money in the budget for the wall, so Collins created a GoFundMe page.

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(credit: CBS)

Most of the donors so far have been teachers at the school. Collins hopes more of the community will get involved and send a message of support to the kids.

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(credit: CBS)

“It’s a source of pride for our kids. Every time they look at that they’ll be reminded that the community came together to build it, they came together to show these guys they matter, that they’re cared for and they’re important,” said Collins.

Joel Hillan anchors CBS4 This Morning on weekends as well as reports stories for CBS4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. Follow Joel on Twitter @joelhillan.

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