FIT Kids: Supporting Physical Education and Activity as Part of NCLB

August 03, 2007

by Rochelle Davis, HSC Executive Director

Student wellness and physical activity are powerful contributors to children’s academic achievement and social development.

That’s why HSC is joining the American Heart Association in championing the federal FIT Kids Act, which will amend the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act to support quality physical education and physical activity for school children.

To help improve children’s health through school-based activity and education, we’re encouraging our congressional leaders to sponsor this legislation, which will:

Hold schools accountable for offering regular physical education so that schools are able to make physical activity and education a priority.

Provide information to parents and the community about students’ access to physical education and activity at school, including the amount of time available for physical education, the amount of space available for activity, and the percentage of teachers who are licensed or certified.

Ensure that children get the support they need to make healthy choices
, by providing nutrition education and structured physical activity in communities as well as schools.

Support professional development for educators to promote children’s healthy lifestyles and physical activity so they provide up-to-date information in a way that boosts students’ ability to learn.

Fund research on effective ways to combat childhood obesity
and encourage healthy living for all children.

School leaders will have difficulty devoting resources to physical education and activity as long as they are not addressed in NCLB, and as long as NCLB remains the focus of attention for school districts throughout the nation.

FIT Kids holds promise in combating obesity and making children’s health a true priority at school.