ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

AAHPERD's Let's Move in School Initiative Highlights Physical Activity's Importance

Paula Kun - LMIS

Post submitted by Paula Keyes Kun, director of communications at the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD). AAHPERD is made up of five national associations, of which whole child partner the National Association for Sport and Physical Education is the largest. ASCD is a strategic partner of AAHPERD's Let's Move in School initiative. Like AAHPERD on Facebook and follow the organization on Twitter @NTAAHPERD.

Every child and adolescent needs a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Schools have a wonderful opportunity to help students meet that recommendation.

Those are the messages behind the Let's Move in School initiative, created and run by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD). Let's Move in School is a public awareness and action initiative urging parents, principals, superintendents, and school boards to get involved in providing a comprehensive school physical activity program—with quality physical education as the foundation—so that young people will develop the skills and knowledge necessary for being physically active over a lifetime.

AAHPERD wants parents, principals, superintendents, and school board members to take a fresh look at the academic and lifestyle benefits that high-quality physical education and physical activity programs—taught by qualified professionals—offer to our nation’s children and young adults. And evidence indicates that the initiative is catching on. More than 3 million students in some 5,200 schools across the country participated in Let's Move in School during the most recent school year.

A comprehensive school physical activity program encompasses physical activity programming before, during, and after the school day and is AAHPERD's response to First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! program to reduce childhood obesity within a generation. Components of a comprehensive school physical activity program include:

  • High-quality physical education
  • Physical activity in the classroom
  • Recess
  • Physical activity clubs and intramurals
  • Interscholastic sports
  • Walk- and bike-to-school programs
  • Physical activity in school-based childcare
  • Employee wellness
  • Community involvement

Let's Move in School touts the value of physical education through national publications, through social media channels, and at events during National Physical Education and Sport Week, May 1–7. But the heart of the initiative is its website, www.LetsMoveinSchool.org. The site provides important links to specially designed toolkits that support and advance a comprehensive school physical activity program, resources for identifying quality physical education and activity programs and areas for improvement, and steps for involving oneself in making a difference in children's lives.

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