FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
AAHPERD and HealthCorps Host Congressional Briefing:
"The State of Health and Physical Education In Our Schools" on Capitol Hill
Sponsored by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) & U.S. Representative Marcia Fudge (OH-11)
RESTON, VA, September 24, 2013 – In celebration of Congress designating September as Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, AAHPERD and HealthCorps will host a Congressional briefing tomorrow, Wednesday, September 25th, 12-1:30pm, to discuss the current status of health and physical education in American schools. Sponsored by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) and Representative Marcia Fudge (OH-11), staunch legislative supporters of school health and physical education, the briefing will highlight what schools and school districts are doing to combat childhood obesity and the role that Congress can play in reversing this epidemic. The meeting will take place at the Capitol Visitor Center, Room SVC-215.
"Our Congressional leaders play a pivotal role in fostering a supportive school environment for maintaining high-quality health and physical education," says AAHPERD CEO E. Paul Roetert. "We look to Congress to include the PHYSICAL Act, a bill that Rep. Fudge introduced in the House of Representatives, co-sponsored by Senator Gillibrand in the Senate, in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). This bill would elevate health education and physical education to core subjects within ESEA and send states a clear message that the federal government deems these subjects essential to a well-rounded education for all children."
"Teenagers are particularly vulnerable to the influence of what our culture defines as "normal." HealthCorps was designed with this in mind. We know that schools can provide students a safe place to discuss their perceptions of food and exercise, and empower them to make educated changes that will not only provide them a lifetime of health, but encourage their self-esteem and ultimately defeat the childhood obesity epidemic," says Michelle Bouchard, President, HealthCorps.
To affirm its commitment to advocating for health and physical education as core subjects, AAHPERD recently launched a new online Legislative Action Center. Visit the Center and join AAHPERD in making an impact on the national policy landscape.
The 90-minute briefing will be moderated by Dr. Jayne Greenberg, district director of physical education and health literacy, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and will include the following panel:
- Irene Cucina, D.P.E., AAHPERD Past President 2012-2013, professor and assistant department chair of health and physical education at Plymouth State University, NH. Dr. Cucina will share highlights from AAHPERD and the American Heart Association's 2012 Shape of the Nation Report and give an educator's perspective on the importance of health and physical education.
- Harold (Bill) Kohl, III, Ph.D., M.S.P.H., professor of epidemiology and kinesiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center –Houston. As chair of the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) Committee on Physical Activity and Physical Education in the School Environment, Dr. Kohl helped author the IOM May 2013 report, Educating the Student Body: Taking Physical Activity and Physical Education to School. He will discuss recommendations stemming from the report, including designating physical education as a core subject, and will highlight the link between physical education, physical activity and academic achievement.
- Jasmyne Jackson, second-year HealthCorps coordinator at the Ginn Academy in Cleveland, OH. Jackson supplements her school's health and wellness program through in-school and after-school activities, providing students with health lessons for a lifetime. She will share insights in working with young athletes and helping them understand the connection between sport, health, nutrition, physical activity and academic performance.
- Jennifer Ohlson, documentary film producer from Austin, TX. Ohlson will share clips from her documentary, Health Needs a Hero, which chronicles the journey of a Hispanic teenager as she struggles to get fit enough to join the Air Force. She will share how the film helped ignite changes throughout her state.
To follow updates from the briefing on Twitter, follow the hashtag #shapeofthenation, @CBraxtonPE and @NTAAHPERD.
HealthCorps®, www.healthcorps.org, is a 501 (C) 3 co-founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz, the world-renowned cardiac surgeon and two-time Daytime Emmy® Award-winning host of the three-time Daytime Emmy® Award-winning “The Dr. Oz Show”, and his wife, Lisa Oz, to combat the childhood obesity crisis. HealthCorps is building a nationwide movement to shape a new generation. HealthCorps “Coordinators” carry out unique in-school and community programming targeting high-need populations. Using peer-mentoring to deliver a progressive curriculum in nutrition, fitness and mental strength, HealthCorps® Coordinators give teens purpose, help develop human character, and inspire an interest in health and culinary arts careers. HealthCorps also serves as a unique research laboratory - exploring the complex, underlying causes of the obesity crisis and discovering and communicating solutions. HealthCorps is bringing many initiatives together to address the "Whole Child" and activate the students’ mind, body and spirit. As a result, HealthCorps is transforming the educational paradigm one school at a time. The program network spans 62 schools in 13 states and the District of Columbia. In the fall of 2012, HealthCorps introduced HealthCorps University, a new “train the trainer” professional development program that makes the HealthCorps principles and curriculum available to virtually any school. By 2015, HealthCorps hopes to have a presence in 100 schools. You can follow HealthCorps on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthcorps and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthCorps.
Society of Health and Physical Educators
The Society of Health and Physical Educators, doing business as SHAPE America, is headquartered in Reston, VA, 25 miles west of Washington, D.C. Its vision is "Healthy People – Physically Educated and Physically Active!" SHAPE America is the largest organization of professionals involved in physical education, physical activity, dance, school health and sport--all specialties related to achieving an active, healthy lifestyle. Its mission is to advance professional practice and promote research related to health and physical education, physical activity, dance and sport by providing its members with a comprehensive and coordinated array of resources, support and programs to help practitioners improve their skills to further the health and well-being of the American public. For more information, visit www.aahperd.org.