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Turkey Creek Middle School, one of 51 middle schools in the Hillsborough County School District, is located in a rural area of Plant City, FL (known as the Strawberry Capital of the World). The district, with 51 middle schools, is the ninth largest in the country. Six physical education teachers provide a daily 50 minute physical education class for 1088 students grades 6 –8. These teachers describe themselves as diverse and dedicated, sharing the same focus – the love of kids and belief in the importance of lifelong physical activity. Turkey Creek MS is a Title 1 school which includes a population reflecting 56% that are economically disadvantaged, 23% receiving special education services, 61% white, 31 % Hispanic, and 6 % African-American.
The regular, progressive review of the physical education department and continual expansion of their curriculum is of particular significance. Plans to add a wellness center are underway. Xavix interactive gaming equipment has successfully been implemented into their fitness program, motivating students once considered "couch potatoes" to become more physically active. Turkey Creek Middle School is one of ten schools in the state of Florida to pilot an archery program and has since helped two other schools obtain training and equipment. Previous successful completion of the NASPE STARS process has allowed Turkey Creek Middle School to advocate for improved physical education at the school level and throughout the Hillsborough County School District. Administrative support is evident in helping to lower class size and maintaining the pull-out effect of the NCLB program on student access to physical education at a minimum.
Turkey Creek Middle School's physical education department has made considerable advances in educating the community and advocating for physical education and activity. Specific examples of their outreach include monthly FIT (Families Involved Together) Nights and annual health fairs. The staff organizes an annual Olympic Day in which students try out and compete in track and field, basketball, archery and bocce ball. Community outreach is reflected during Olympic Day through the involvement of the Hillsborough County Posse and local military personnel assisting with the opening and closing ceremonies.