Physical Activity Before and After School and Staff Involvement
This month we will take a look at the last two components of a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program, “Physical Activity Before and After School” and “Staff Involvement”. A summary from NASPE/AAHPERD of these two components are below.
Physical Activity Before and After School
Physical activity before and after school provides opportunities for all students, including those with disabilities, to practice what they’ve learned in physical education, work towards the nationally recommended 60+ minutes of daily moderate-vigorous physical activity, and prepare the brain for learning. Additional benefits include social interaction and engagement of students in safe, supervised activities.
- Walk and bike to school and implementation of a comprehensive Safe Routes to School program
- Informal recreation or play on school grounds
- Physical activity in school-based child-care
- Physical activity clubs and intramural sports
- Interscholastic sports
Staff Members Move in School
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 members 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.
One great way to bring attention to the importance of increasing physical activity before and after school is to take part in the National Walk and Bike to School Event that is scheduled for May 8. Go to http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/ for more information on this event. And, while you’re at it, why not get the school staff involved in this event to help them benefit from some fun physical activity as well!!
Another strategy to consider is using some of the Skillastics activity kits for students attending before and after school programs and during professional development days with your staff. The students will enjoy having the opportunity to be active and staff members will see the value of being active while having fun together!
This concludes the articles devoted to incorporating a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program into your schools. In the previous articles you have been encouraged to sign up to be a part of NASPE/AAHPERD’s “Let’s Move in School Campaign”. As most of you are probably aware, recently First Lady Michelle Obama announced her “Let’s Move! Active Schools” campaign. AAHPERD and several other great organizations are collaborating on this project which will take the place of LMIS. I encourage you to sign up at www.LetsMoveSchools.org and become a part of this initiative!