Think back to your physical education classes in high school. For many of us...that meant games. And while that may have been fun, many Phys. Ed classes are a lot more serious these days, as schools do what they can to combat childhood obesity.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 16 percent of all
“In our district, it’s very skill based, especially at this age although teaching skills that are essential to multiple sports instead of just rolling the ball and playing a sport we like to teach them eye hand, eye foot skills, we teach them activities that they can utilize over a variety of sports,” says Phys. Ed. teacher Mike Fusare.
The U.S. Dept of Health and Human services states that half of all parents who have kids in elementary school, never exercise. In the interest of full disclosure, I would be considered one of them. Janet Swarthout has been teaching Phys. Ed in the city school for 19 years.
"Parents have to be the big push. The students are not going to do it themselves. If they’re not working out, if exercise is not important to them, it’s not going to be important to the child. So we really try to stress it here that exercise is important live a long healthy life, along with nutrition."
The days of going to gym class and playing dodge ball or kick ball seem to be over. For some kids, Phys. Ed class is the only exercise they'll see all week.
"We try to promote activities not only in class, because we certainly don’t see them at the frequency that would be as big an impact as out of class, but we try to promote activities outside of school for them to do by offering a variety of activities in school such as our rock climbing wall… team sports," says Fusare.
And outside of school is where the real learning has to begin.