When you have to choose between staying at home to use your Xbox and heading out for a gym workout, we know how hard it is for gadget heads like you to unplug. Let us read full story
More than one third of children in America are overweight. Even worse, the number of children aged 6–11 years in the U.S. who were clinically obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 20% in 2008. Who is to blame?
Is it the food marketing companies who are marketing sugary cereals and snacks to kids?
Is it the schools, who are feeding kids low quality school lunches devoid of fresh vegetables, vitamins, and minerals?
Rather than playing the blame game, there are superheroes in our schools that are swooping in to save America’s kids from a lifetime of obesity and related health complications.
Enter America’s physical education teachers.
We’ve found a group of P.E. teachers who are fighting against school administrators who want to eliminate recess in favor of more time sitting still in the classroom.
The problem with keeping kids sitting at their desks instead of playing outdoors is that multiple studies show that kids who take breaks for recess have higher test scores, and have a better capacity for attention and concentration in the classroom.
Here are a few of these P.E. teacher superheroes who are working to fight childhood obesity by saving recess in American schools.
Mary Mendez from Arnold Middle School in Grand Prairie,Texas
Image courtesy of Arnold Middle School
Mary Mendez and Rod Burns are encouraging kids at Arnold Middle School to hang out at the new fitness gym at the school. The gym is furnished with gym equipment, a 24-foot rock wall, and exercise video games that get kids moving. The gym equipment was purchased with grants from the Texas Fit Now fund.
Betty Jackson from Burgess Peterson Academy in Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia has the second highest rate of obesity in America. Betty Jackson has been a P.E. teacher for 20 years, and she is making sure that her students don’t become a part of that statistic. She heads up a number of healthy living programs at Burgess Peterson Academy that are funded with grant money, including a program that ensures that the kids have access to fresh organic produce at the school. Jackson also takes the kids outdoors to play games from around the world as they learn about how to have fun while exercising, and about new cultures.
Tracy Krause from Tahoma High School in Covington, Washington
Image courtesy of Voice of the Valley
Krause won the National Football League’s “NFL Network P.E. Teacher of the Year,” as a part of their Keep Gym in School Campaign. For his efforts, he received a $10,000 award and a $10,000 grant for the physical education program at his school. Krause also helped develop the high school’s Outdoor Academy program for 10th-graders. The program combines outdoor activities the with language arts and science curriculum.
Jamie Viesselman from Kings Highway Elementary School in Westport, Connecticut
Image courtesy of Westport News.
Jamie Viesselman was one of many physical education teachers in Westport, Connecticut who spoke out against school district administration plans to cut student physical education class time in half. “Less physical activity at school and at home means kids aren’t getting the exercise necessary for healthy development,” notes Viesselman.
Physical Education Teachers in Oakland, California
Image courtesy of Hopelab’s blog.
Teachers in Oakland, CA are using a new product called Zamzee to get technology loving kids moving. Zamzee is produced by a nonprofit called Hopelab, created by Pam Omidyar. Omidyar is married to eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. Zamzee encourages kids to practice healthy habits by creating a game out of physical movement. Kids compete for points, and they can real world earn prizes for their physical activity.
Is your school doing enough to make sure that your kids get adequate time to move around during the school day? DailyBurn offers a number of fun workouts that you can do with your kids at home or after school to make sure your entire family gets active together. Try DailyBurn’s dance workouts including Kickin’ It With Keaira featuring professional singer and dancer Keaira Lashae.
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