Press Release


AAHPERD Becomes SHAPE America

RESTON, VA, December 5, 2013– A managing partner of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Active Schools initiative, the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) today announced that its membership has approved changing the association's name to the Society of Health and Physical Educators, doing business as SHAPE America.

According to President Gale Wiedow, interim dean of the College of Education at Dakota State University in Madison, SD, "We are now poised to move forward in creating a new chapter in our 128-year-old history with our new name, vision and mission. A new logo, tagline and brand for the organization, as well as a new website, will be introduced early in 2014."

Through our new name we are working to:
Shape a future where healthy is the norm;
Shape a standard of excellence in physical education and health education;
Shape the lifelong habits of young people; and
Shape and influence policy related to physical education and school health education.

SHAPE America is the organization's seventh name change since its founding in 1885 as the Association for the Advancement of Physical Education. The largest organization of physical educators in the country with close to 20,000 members, SHAPE America created the first ever National Standards for K-12 Physical Education, developed the Let's Move in School public awareness campaign to increase physical activity before, during and after school, and originated the Shape of the Nation Report, which reviews the status of physical education across the United States, among its many professional firsts.

Earlier this year the organization voted unanimously to unify what were five national associations and a Research Consortium under the AAHPERD umbrella. Among its many partners, SHAPE America works with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, American Heart Association, The Cooper Institute, First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative and the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.

Wiedow added, "Having an acronym that actually says and means something helps to make our new name more memorable. In addition, the verb shape means influence and communicates leadership and power. We want SHAPE America to have increased visibility and recognition among our primary audiences of physical and health educators as well as our secondary audiences ─ parents, principals, school administrators, policy makers, and the media. I am confident that our strong, memorable and simple new name will help us do just that."


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