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Parents for Healthy Schools

Parents have a powerful role in supporting children’s health and learning. Engaged parents help guide their children successfully through school, advocate for their children, and can help shape a healthy school environment. CDC has developed a set of resources called Parents for Healthy Schools to help schools and school groups (e.g., parent teacher associations (PTA), parent teacher organizations (PTO), school wellness committees) engage parents to create healthy school environments.

These resources will:

  • Educate parents about
    • School nutrition environment and services
    • School-based physical education and physical activity
    • Managing chronic health conditions in school settings
  • Provide parents with practical strategies and actions to improve the school health environment
  • Provide suggestions for ways to track progress in engaging parents in changing the school health environment.

Click here to access the Parents for Healthy Kids resources.

Brief Exercise Breaks During Class Helps Bodies and Brains

Two-minute exercise breaks in the classroom may help school children meet physical activity goals without disrupting learning, new research suggests.

University of Michigan researchers say short bursts of in-classroom activity can trim childhood obesity rates while helping elementary schools provide 30 minutes of daily exercise for students.

“What we’re showing is that we can give kids an additional 16 minutes of health-enhancing physical activity,” said lead investigator Rebecca Hasson, an associate professor of kinesiology and nutritional sciences.

Children in the United States are supposed to get at least one hour of exercise each day, including 30 minutes of physical activity during school hours, the study authors explained. Most don’t reach this daily goal.

“Many kids don’t have PE (physical education) every day but they might have recess, and if they get 10 more minutes of activity there, it would meet that school requirement,” Hasson said in a university news release. “This doesn’t replace PE, it’s a supplement. We’re trying to create a culture of health throughout the entire school day, not just in the gym.”

Read more.

SHAPE America’s National PE & Sport Week

SHAPE America’s National PE & Sport Week, held annually from May 1-7, celebrates and shares the value of effective physical education and sport programs in schools around the nation. This year, SHAPE America will be highlighting some of their exceptional members and rising stars who are accomplishing “Big Feats” with their work — and leaving their mark on health education, physical education and sport.

During this week, and the entire month of May, look for these inspirational success stories and take advantage of free activities, lesson plans and advocacy resources from SHAPE America that can benefit your school and community.

Share your own accomplishments on social media during our Twitter Slow Chat May 1-7 and help put a spotlight on health and PE in schools with their social media badges. 

Sport Stacking at Brookshire Elementary

On Friday, December 1, Brookshire PE classes practiced sport stacking. This is an official AAA Junior Olympic sport consisting of stacking cups for speed. Students learned the 3-3-3 pattern, and were introduced to two other patterns used in competitive sport stacking.

Following the sport stacking lessons in PE, students and families were given the opportunity to purchase Speed Stacks to practice at home.  This healthy fundraiser will give Brookshire Elementary 20% of sales for PE supplies.

Students Learn African Dance Fundamentals at Brookshire Elementary

A dance instructor from the School of Contemporary Dance taught Brookshire Elementary third, fourth and fifth grade students African Dance basics during a two day clinic.  The students had fun expressing themselves as they learned a about African traditions of expression through dance.

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Teenagers Aren’t Getting Enough Exercise at School, or Anywhere

teenagers legsTeenagers can be a notoriously sedentary group. Now a new study showed that school may be a big part of the problem.

The study, which used GPS devices to track when and where teenagers were getting physical activity, found that, on average, they were physically active only 23 minutes a day while at school. Meager as that figure is, it made up over half the 39.4 minutes of physical activity the average teenager got every day.

To continue reading this article, visit The New York Times

Teenagers Aren't Getting Enough Exercise at School, or Anywhere

teenagers legsTeenagers can be a notoriously sedentary group. Now a new study showed that school may be a big part of the problem.

The study, which used GPS devices to track when and where teenagers were getting physical activity, found that, on average, they were physically active only 23 minutes a day while at school. Meager as that figure is, it made up over half the 39.4 minutes of physical activity the average teenager got every day.

To continue reading this article, visit The New York Times

High School Students’ Perceptions About the Value of PE Classes

High school PEFrom Shape America

New research conducted by myCollegeOptions® and SHAPE America offers unique and valuable insight into the attitudes of students themselves toward physical education. While other studies focus on the views of health organizations, educators and parents, students also have something to say: they value their physical education curriculum.

Research from this study shows that most high school students currently participating in physical education classes have a positive perception of PE and its impact on their lives in and out of school:

  • Overall, nearly eight in 10 students think physical education class is important to their overall school experiences with 33% reporting “very important” and 47% reporting “somewhat important.” Twenty percent of students believe physical education class is not important to their overall school experiences.
  • Nearly half of students report that their participation in physical education class is important to their future health (49%), helps them to relieve stress (45%), helps them to work well with others (36%), makes them feel good (36%), gives them confidence (28%) and helps them to focus (24%).
  • More than half of the students report learning how to maintain a physically active lifestyle (56%), how to set fitness goals and maintain fitness levels (54%), and how to play sports (51%);48% report gaining skill development because of their experiences in physical education classes.

Despite abundant opportunities to engage in physical activity outside of physical education classes, a large number of students rely on PE classes as their only opportunity for physical activity during the day, further underscoring the importance of physical education in schools.

  • Four in 10 students say they participate in physical activity outside of a physical education class five days in an average week, while 31% report three to four days, 18% report one to two days, and 11% of students report they do not participate in physical activity outside of a physical education class in an average week.
  • Students in lower income households and first-generation students are sig­nificantly more likely to report a lower frequency of participation in physical activity outside of a physical education class.
  • Students in rural high schools are significantly more likely to report five or more days of physical activity outside of a physical education class compared to those in suburban and urban schools (44%, 39% and 35% respectively).
  • Students in lower income high schools are more likely to report a lower frequency of days in which they participate in physical activity outside of a physical education class compared to students in higher income high schools.

According to E. Paul Roetert, Ph.D., chief executive officer of SHAPE America, “It is critically important that students learn the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes in physical education class so that they will want to live healthy, physically active lives. These students reaffirm to us what we already know –health and physical education teachers are uniquely poised to ensure that all kids thrive as healthy and active adults.”

About myCollegeOptions®
MyCollegeOptions is the nation’s largest college planning program, operated by the National Research Center for College & University Admissions™ (NRCCUA®).  For 40 years, this education research organization based in Lee’s Summit, MO has served as the primary link between high school students and colleges, universities, and the resources they need to succeed.  For more information, visit www.mycollegeoptions.org.

About SHAPE America
SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators is committed to ensuring all children have the opportunity to lead healthy, physically active lives. As the nation’s largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals, SHAPE America works with its 50 state affiliates and national partners to support initiatives such as the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, Let’s Move! Active Schools and the Jump Rope For Heart/Hoops For Heart programs.

Since its founding in 1885, the organization has defined excellence in physical education, and our resources provide the leadership, professional development and advocacy that support health and physical educators at every level – from preschool to university graduate programs. For more information, visit www.shapeamerica.org.