Let’s Move in School – An Initiative for ALL of us!
I’m sure most all of you are aware of the “Let’s Move in School” initiative that was started by NASPE and AAHPERD. If you haven’t signed up to be a part of this great project, I encourage you to do so by going to www.letsmoveinschool.org There are numerous resources that you can access on the AAHPERD web site to help get you started with implementing a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program in your school.
If you look at the CSPAP logo, you will notice that the star at the top is “Physical Education”. The reason for that is two-fold. First, a quality physical education program is the cornerstone to a successful Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program. Physical education is not the same as physical activity and this initiative is not intended to take the place of a quality physical education program taught by a certified teacher. Second, you as the physical education instructor are the person most qualified to lead this initiative! Please keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ask other people to help! Quite the opposite! The more people you have “on board” and helping, the more successful the program will be. With that in mind, over the next few months, I’ll discuss the other components of CSPAP and give you some ideas for how to get other people involved, and provide some activities to consider implementing in each area.
I’ll start “Staff Involvement” this month. The LMIS web site states: “High-level support from school administrators is critical to a successful comprehensive school physical activity programs. Staff involvement in school-based physical activity provides two key benefits:
- School employee wellness programs have been shown to improve staff health, increase physical activity levels, and be cost effective.
- When school staff are personally committed to good health practices, they are positive role models for students and may show increased support for student participation in physical activity.”
With that in mind, and with the holiday season here, it’s a perfect time to invite your staff to participate in some type of “healthy challenge”. These could be started now or after the first of the year. If you are waiting until January, send out some “teasers” to get people excited about participating! You might consider implementing one of these ideas:
- “Exercise = Less Stress” (provide a chart for people to record how many minutes of physical activity they get each day during the month)
- “Maintain, No Gain Challenge” (provide ideas for healthy eating tips during the month and a weekly “weigh in” sheet)
- “Healthy Treats for Happy Feet” (encourage people to walk during their lunch hour and bring healthy foods for their lunch)
- “Biggest Loser Challenge” (make this fun and non-threatening to get more involvement!)
Keep in mind that healthy staff members will serve as good role models to your students so don’t keep their successes a secret—share what you are doing with your students! It will let them see that the adults in their school (not just you as the physical education teacher) care about their health and wellness and understand the benefits of being physically active and eating right!