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Saving the Schoolyard

Keep Gym in Schools and #Fight4Health 

We often hear about the new, fun, young office environments where employees are encouraged to take occasional breaks. The offices have game rooms, basketball courts, soccer fields, and ample space for employees to get a mental and physical break from sitting at their desks for hours on end. Some work places are even offering yoga classes during the day. People who work in these places love it and people who do not yearn to. So why would we take that part of the day that is built into the school day away from our children? 
 
According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of all high school students are not afforded the opportunity to take gym class. As budgets and resources for schools have been tightened, physical education has fallen by the wayside. The domino effect is significant. Not only does this time in the school day help kids refocus, it also encourages healthy living. 
 
The American Heart Association notes that childhood obesity costs our nation’s already massive health care system “anywhere from $147 billion to $210 billion each year.” Why not take the opportunity when kids are in school to incorporate exercise into the daily routine? Taking away the resources for physical education is not a far leap from throwing hundreds of billions of dollars down the drain. 
 
PFCD is also a proud member of the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity, and has been actively engaged in the fight to keep physical education in schools, urging lawmakers for months to protect this funding. We were successful in the Senate earlier this year and need to keep up the #fight4health as members on both sides of the Capitol continue to work on reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. 
 
The American Heart Association is “urging lawmakers to save physical education by ensuring that the Early and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) designates physical education as a core subject and preserves and expands physical education grants.” Learn more and sign the petition to keep gym in school online here.