FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Get Active! Take Action!
Celebrating Nat'l Physical Education and Sport Week
RESTON, VA, April 19, 2017 — Schools across the country will be celebrating the importance of health and physical education programs empowering all students to lead active and healthy lives, May 1-7, during National Physical Education and Sport Week. Lead by SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators and its 50 state affiliates, the week also serves as a kickoff to National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, sponsored by the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.
According to SHAPE America President Fran Cleland of West Chester University in Pennsylvania, "Students who participate in effective physical education, taught by certified physical education teachers, are empowered with the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity. We call this 50 Million Strong."
About Our Theme
SHAPE America is committed to empowering all children to lead healthy and active lives through effective health and physical education programs. 50 Million Strong by 2029 is a call to action for all of America's health and physical educators to unite and focus on a common purpose — getting all of the nation's children physically active, enthusiastic and committed to making healthy lifestyle choices.
To help schools celebrate National Physical Education and Sport Week, SHAPE America has created a special website featuring opportunities to Get Active! Take Action! for physical education and physical activity. In addition to a variety of activity ideas for elementary and secondary grade levels, the website includes social media messages, a proclamation, as well as a certificate of participation that teachers can distribute to students.
Here's How You Can Participate
Active Kids Learn Better
When kids are active they focus more, think more clearly, react to stress more calmly, and perform and behave better in class. That's why it's so important that our schools offer well-designed, health and physical education (HPE) programs... and provide opportunities for students to meet the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity before, during and after school.
Physical education offered within public schools can provide access to physical activity for all students regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, or urban/suburban/rural setting.
In addition to its brain-boosting benefits, regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence has been shown to:
- Improve strength and endurance
- Helps build healthy bones and muscles
- Help control weight
- Reduce anxiety and stress
- Increase self-esteem; and
- May improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Despite the importance of health and physical education, HPE programs are more at risk than ever for losing the financial support needed to flourish in schools.
Now is the time to get involved and take action!
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) identifies school health and physical education (HPE) as part of a student's well-rounded education. This means educators, parents and administrators all share a responsibility to provide kids with effective HPE provided by trained and certified teachers. But several proposals in Congress would significantly underfund ESSA and threaten health and physical education in school.
It's Time to Get Active and Take Action!
SHAPE America needs the help of health and physical educators to ensure that all kids have the skills, knowledge and opportunities to lead active and healthy lives through effective health and physical education. First, get active! Educator, parents and administrators, can take advantage of the free activity ideas and lesson plans on SHAPE America's website to celebrate National Physical Education & Sport Week. Take action by writing your representatives in Congress and asking lawmakers to fully fund Title IV, Part A grant at $1.65 billion, under ESSA. Be sure to ask four friends to join you in action!
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.