*This post reflects a compensated editorial partnership with Voices for Healthy Kids, a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
There are many factors that influence how children perform academically but I bet many of you did not know that students who receive physical education, or PE, do better when it comes to behavior, academic achievement, and emotional health. It’s important for kids have frequent opportunities to engage in physical activity on a daily basis. Unfortunately, only 4% of elementary schools, 8% of middle schools, and 2% of high schools provide daily PE or its equivalent for the entire school year.
Racial inequalities and socio-economic challenges leave many schools without resources for PE, but kids shouldn’t have to miss out on the benefits of PE because of where they live or because their schools lack financial resources. A good PE program is a crucial part of a school community because staying active has a positive impact on a child’s physical, mental, and emotional health. This is certainly evident within the communities in which schools are located that have curriculums which foster well-rounded PE programs.
As an educator, I have seen firsthand how active students correlate to students who achieve. Over the years, I have observed how at-risk students have flourished academically due to being motivated by being on school teams. Since they have to maintain good grades to stay on these teams, they put forth a huge effort in class in order to do well in their classes and also continue to be a part of the team. Additionally, taking part in school sports helps to boost their self-esteem which is something I immediately notice in their eagerness to participate in class discussions.
Currently, many of my students who participate in sports, compete in physical fitness competitions, and attend daily gym classes tend to be more aware during the lesson. They often will raise their hands to participate and seem more motivated and energetic throughout the school day. Under ESSA (the federal education law), all states must develop a comprehensive plan to ensure all students receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education.
The thing is: inclusion of health and PE in ESSA is not mandated in every state or school district. We need to advocate for daily PE to be included as a core component in ESSA plans so that money can be accessed for PE. If PE is not included in the plan, it won’t have access to funding!
Want to learn more about how you can work to increase PE in your community? Visit http://physicaleducation.voicesforhealthykids.org/
Let’s Discuss: Do you think that your child is receiving enough PE classes at school? Why or why not?
Disclosure: This post reflects a compensated editorial partnership with Voices for Healthy Kids, a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. All opinions are 100% my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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