Monday, January 4, 2010
I came upon an article today while checking out AAHPERD's Facebook page. The article, written by NASPE board member Bryan McCullick, is short, to the point, and effective. Although I do not teach PE, I'm obviously a big advocate for anything health/PE related in schools.
Click here for the article."If schools are places where responsible citizenship is fostered, they should also have an obligation to help children develop the skills, knowledge and confidence necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle that can prevent or reduce costly future health care."I
McCullick writes that,"PE is at the core of promoting healthy choices. A comprehensive school program includes PE, health education, healthy food options, recess for elementary school students, intramural sport programs and physical activity clubs, and interscholastic sports for high school students. Ideally, schools would also include physical activity breaks, walk/bike to school programs, appropriate physical activity in after-school child care programs, and staff wellness programs."
Many choices listed here tie into a coordinated school health program. Each unit operates in support of one other. Tennessee has made funding available statewide for development of a CSHP in each district. Will this set a precedent for other states? We'll find out (more on the Tennessee thing later this week).
I also like McCullick's point that, "The days of the ball-rolling, coffee-swilling, game-prepping PE “coach” have contributed to the current obesity rate increase." Today's physical education classes should focus on lifestyle activities and participation in physical activity, and are no longer for the "jocks" or athletes. Anyone is capable of moving their bodies and finding an activity they enjoy doing, and exposure to those activities in physical education classes is one way for students to find that out!
On a side note, a great example of an after school program is ING's Run For Something Better. Here a company is offering 50 $2,000 grants to either begin a school-based running program or to enhance one that already exists. Financial assistance from major corporations is a great way to fund programs for cash strapped districts.