In July 2011, a team of leading national governmental and non-profit organizations collaborated to conduct the inaugural Urban Physical Education Leadership Summit in New York City. Co-sponsors include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Adolescent and School Health, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, New York City Department of Education's Office of Fitness & Health Education, Action for Healthy Kids, and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
Thirty-five multi-disciplinary teams representing some of the largest school districts across the U.S. participated in the Summit. AAHPERD/NASPE and its partners built the Summit on the following premises:
- There is inequity in health, physical activity, and fitness profiles for urban youth.
- Every child needs 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day.
- Urban schools must create a culture of opportunities for physical activity that are appealing and accessible to all students, regardless of fitness level or ability.
- Quality, effective physical education programs provide standards-based curricula, instruction and appropriate student assessments which align with established accountability measures.
There are critical areas where a shift in urban physical education practice could have an immediate impact on youth physical activity and fitness. We invite other physical education leaders to join us in addressing the following:
- An instructional model that encompasses physical activity and fitness options for all young people beyond traditional sports models would affect what happens in and outside of classrooms.
- Physical education teachers should be a school's Physical Activity Coordinator: advocating for physical education as a discipline; creating a culture of physical activity and fitness; developing opportunities for physical activity throughout the school day (before- and after-school, in the classroom); supporting colleagues and their wellness needs; reaching out to parents and the community (parent-teacher conferences, Family Fitness Night); and establishing community partnerships.
- Direct collaboration between school districts and health departments in joint physical activity, physical education, and wellness efforts would affect student health and fitness profiles. Existing assessment and data analysis mechanisms can inform public education and health policies to generate mutual understanding, collaboration and support.
- Creation of undergraduate and graduate courses that prepare physical education teachers would affect what happens in urban classrooms. College graduates must be grounded in best practices in urban schools and be ready for success on their first day of teaching.
Funding for this web page was made possible in part by cooperative agreement award number U58DP003220 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).