Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Every Kid Healthy Week Salute to Fulton County Schools Creative PE Program

Every child in Fulton County deserves to be well-nourished, physically active, healthy and ready to learn. Studies from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and elsewhere show that in addition to preventing obesity and obesity-related health problems, regular physical activity enhances important components of academic performance for youngsters, including concentration, cognition and classroom behavior.

Sadly, one in three children aged 2 to 17 in Fulton County is estimated to be either overweight or obese and fewer than half of Georgia high school students are physically active for at least an hour a day.  Health experts say that if these trends continue, this generation will be the first in history to live shorter lives than their parents.

The good news is, with sound nutrition and opportunities for physical activity, kids thrive. That’s why Action for Healthy Kids and the Fulton County Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) Program are calling on adults and children alike during Every Kid Healthy Week (April 25-29, 2016) to help make schools healthier places, so kids can live healthier lives and be better prepared to learn and succeed academically.

This week, the Fulton County PICH Program is shining a spotlight on the wonderful efforts by Fulton County Schools to improve the health and wellness of students.  The PICH Program is proud of its partnership with Fulton County Schools to implement creative Physical Education programs in elementary and middle schools this year. PICH provides financial support for the implementation of the Exemplary Physical Education Curriculum (EPEC) in all Fulton County elementary schools and the SPARK Curriculum in middle schools. Both programs are research-based and promote healthy habits in all aspects of students’ lives. PICH is also funding a series of workshops that to-date have trained over 300 health and PE teachers in creative P.E. instruction techniques.

Combating childhood obesity by increasing opportunities for physical activity is a topline goal of the PICH Program. The collaboration between PICH and the Fulton County Schools on these new P.E. strategies will ensure that students have the means to become both physically fit and academically stronger.

Dr. Tasha Guadalupe, Health and Physical Education Coordinator for Fulton County Schools, says the resource funding that PICH is providing will “enhance teachers’ instructional strategies through a standards-based approach, helping students to maintain good health, perform better in class, and promote an active lifestyle.”

Learn more about the PICH Program at http://www.fultoncountyga.gov/partnership-to-improve-community-health. For more information about the Fulton County Schools, visit http://www.fultonschools.org. The website http://www.everykidhealthyweek.org has details about Every Kid Healthy Week.

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