As a parent of young children, I’m very interested in their education. I want to make sure they are challenged at school, learning the appropriate difficulty-level in each subject. I am also concerned, however, about their “special areas” classes (music, art, and PE) and how these classes fit into the overall school curriculum.
Fortunately, my boys’ elementary school works hard to integrate the special areas classes into the overall learning picture. My kids go to these classes on a three-day rotation throughout the school year. While I certainly wish they went to these classes more often– even every-other-day would be a big improvement–I’m grateful that they haven’t been eliminated completely as they have in other school districts.
There are evidenced-based studies that demonstrate that children who are aerobically-fit have twice the chance of passing standardized tests in reading and math than their aerobically-unfit peers. TWICE the chance! In this era of public education and the almighty standardized test, one would think that the results of this study could grab the attention of policymakers. Rather than eliminating or greatly reducing our kids’ access to recess and gym class, we could be feeding two birds with one crust by paying more attention to the children’s physical fitness.
I know that I’m not the only one who advocates for more movement during the school day. I urge you, my fellow parents, to read the study linked above and share it with the administrators at your child’s school.
If you would like more support in your endeavor to change the way recess and PE are viewed at your school, the Coordinated Approach To Child Health— CATCH– is an evidenced-based, coordinated school health program designed to promote physical activity, healthy food choices, and the prevention of tobacco use in children. The CATCH website is filled with information about how to bring their program to your school.
As parents, we owe it to our children to create environments in which they can succeed.
Good health & great happiness to you!
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