Press Release


CDC and AAHPERD Release New Guide For Developing Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs

RESTON, VA  January 2, 2014 – Schools across the country will now have access to step-by-step guidance and evidence to help children and youth obtain at least 60 minutes of physical activity before, during and after school every day. A new guide for schools to develop, implement and evaluate comprehensive school physical activity programs has been released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD). The guide can be downloaded at:

According to AAHPERD Senior Program Manager Francesca Zavacky, one of the authors, "The guide can be read and utilized by a group that either already exists (e.g., school health council or wellness committee) or a new group or committee that is made up of physical education coordinators and teachers, classroom teachers, school administrators, recess supervisors, before- and after-school program supervisors, parents, and community members. It can be used to develop a new comprehensive school physical activity program or assess and improve an existing one."

Since 2006, CDC has provided funding to AAHPERD to improve the quality of physical education and physical activity programs through a cooperative agreement project; development of the guide is an integral part of AAHPERD's work plan activities. A writing team, made up of academic and education professionals, was assembled by the two organizations to develop earlier versions of the guide.

"Schools can create more active environments, where all students have the opportunity to be physically active at different times and places throughout the school day," said Holly Hunt, Chief, CDC's School Health Branch. "This is a timely and powerful tool that will assist all 50 states now funded to promote healthy school policies and practices through CDC's cooperative agreement State Public Health Actions to Prevent and Control Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and Associated Risk Factors and Promote School Health. Specifically, many state health departments will work with schools to develop, implement, and evaluate comprehensive school physical activity programs (CSPAP)."

The guide is also the foundation for a new Physical Activity Leader (PAL) training being conducted across the country as part of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Active Schools initiative, of which AAHPERD is a managing partner.  As part of its CDC cooperative agreement activities, AAHPERD will conduct PAL professional development training in states receiving enhanced funding as part of the CDC grants to states.


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