September is a time for back to school shopping, buying pencils, notebook paper, and that ever-important backpack. It’s a time of anticipation and planning. Teachers and schools are preparing to tell parents about what their children will be learning over the coming year. However, many schools in Arizona don’t tell parents about how much or how often their kids are getting physical education.
The American Heart Association considers physical education an academic subject and is based on a program of curricula and instruction designed to develop motor skills knowledge, and behaviors for active living, physical fitness, sportsmanship, self-efficacy and emotional intelligence. Here at the American Heart Association, we believe that all students need access to physical education to lead a healthy, balanced life.
The AHA advocates for quality PE measures that include the amount of PE minutes being offered in elementary, middle and high school. We also feel that it is important for parents to know if the schools are following a planned curriculum that adheres to national standards and if that curriculum is being taught by a teacher with PE credentials.
In Arizona, there is no requirement for schools to report the time nor the quality of the PE they are offering our children. We need your help to get involved and ask school leadership, what are you teaching my child about Physical Education, and how are kids in my community are physically active at school?
From one advocate to another, one parent to another, we must start ensuring our schools are focused on our WHOLE child’s health, not just one part.