Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

SHAPE America Kicks Off “50 Million Strong by 2029” Initiative in Miami-Dade County Public Schools

MIAMI, FL, September 10, 2015 —SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators is announcing today the national launch of "50 Million Strong by 2029," the organization's initiative to ensure that all of America's students develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to enjoy healthy, meaningful physical activity. The announcement is being made at North Beach Elementary School, Miami Beach, by SHAPE America President Stephen Jefferies and CEO Paul Roetert, with representatives from Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, and NIKE, Inc. 

"SHAPE America believes a comprehensive school physical activity program, with well-designed physical education and health education, is the path to achieving 50 Million Strong by 2029," says SHAPE America Chief Executive Officer E. Paul Roetert. "We selected Miami-Dade County Public Schools for the launch of this initiative because they embrace that philosophy and have programs in place that empower students to embrace a healthy and physically active lifestyle."  

"We understand the importance of keeping our kids healthy and physically active," says Alberto M. Carvalho, Miami-Dade County superintendent. "We have developed a variety of choices for all of our students to stay active, and we are thrilled about the new initiative promoting similar programs across the nation."  

In Miami-Dade:

  • One hundred percent of the schools are enrolled in First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Active Schools initiative
  • Physical education programs have been recognized by Designed to Move and UNESCO
  • The Anchors Away and I Can Do It/You Can Do It adapted physical education programs have been recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama
  • Every student in physical education class participates in individual fitness assessments through the Presidential Youth Fitness Program
  • Preschoolers are introduced to the joys of being physically active by professionally trained early childhood staff.

"We want to salute Superintendent Carvalho's commitment to educating all students —beginning with preschoolers —about the importance of living a healthy and physically active life," says Roetert. "Miami-Dade is poised to reach 356,000 students strong." 

Shellie Pfohl, executive director of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, says, "Increasing physical activity for kids before, during and after school is fundamental to student success. We know that Active Kids Do Better. They perform better on tests, show increased focus, attend school more often, and demonstrate a higher level of interpersonal skills and confidence."

Nike believes in the power of sport to unleash human potential, and we know active kids do better in school and in life," says Vanessa Garcia-Brito, senior director, communications & partnerships, Global Community Impact, NIKE, Inc. "Initiatives like '50 Million Strong by 2029' are the key to helping kids find the joy in movement and giving them an opportunity to have happier, healthier lives. We are excited to see this nationwide commitment and applaud Miami-Dade County Schools for being a leading example." 

To keep students moving to boost learning, SHAPE America has developed a Back to School website centered around the 50 Million Strong theme that is full of resources for teachers, administrators, professors, future professionals and parents, including: 

  • Information needed to develop a comprehensive school physical activity program
  • A Physical Education Program Checklist
  • Guidance documents on The Essential Components of Physical Education and Appropriate Practices in School-Based Health Education
  • Grade-level activity calendars
  • Free podcasts on health and physical education topics
  • Webinars with innovative ideas and tried-and-true teaching strategies.

 "Research shows that today's youth are more sedentary than ever, and that physical inactivity is the cause of many health problems," says SHAPE America President Stephen Jefferies of Central Washington University. "SHAPE America is committed to providing health and physical education teachers with the resources they need to teach young people about the benefits of living a physically active and healthy life. They can find those resources on our Back to School website." Teachers who visit the site and say "Count Me In" to the 50 Million Strong initiative will receive a free digital Scope & Sequence chart. The chart:  

  • Supports the National Standards and grade-level outcomes for K-12 physical education
  • Provides educators with an evaluation scale for K-12 students
  • Provides guidance for developing lesson plans for K-12 physical education.

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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.