MATTESON, Ill. (CBS) — Students in the Matteson School District are learning what it’s like to be in a wheelchair.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, the effort is part of a program promoting healthy lifestyles, and is funded with grant money.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

The eighth graders at Huth Middle School, 3718 213th Pl., played wheelchair basketball with lessons from the pros. The students are not disabled themselves, but they learned to dribble and see what it was like to move around in a wheelchair for the first time.

The students say it’s not so easy.

“I thought it was just going to be easy and just shooting the ball, but you’ve got to be learning a lot of things,” one student said.

The exercise is partly about sensitivity, and another student, Jasmine, says she gets that.

“It shows me not to be so mean to them, because I know they’re probably having a hard time getting in a wheelchair and me walking,” she said.

The exercise was conducted in partnership with the South Suburban Special Recreation Association.

Watch & Listen LIVE