Quality Physical Education Must be Maintained in Duval County Public Schools | Health

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Quality Physical Education Must be Maintained in Duval County Public Schools
Health, Schools

Today, the Duval County Public School Board will begin to make recommendations to Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals for the 2011-2012 budget. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association understands the school board is working with the best intentions and  is in an unfortunate financial situation. However, the American Heart Association is concerned increasing the class size in art, music, and PE would greatly reduce the quality of instruction.  In addition, it is possible afterschool sports and activities might be reduced or even eliminated and without afterschool transportation many students with working parents would be unable to participate. Students in the lowest family income brackets would be disproportionately impacted and we know these families are often vulnerable to both high rates of obesity and high dropout rates.

What is the problem?

In the past 30 years obesity in the United States has tripled.  One of every three children or teenagers is overweight or obese. Obesity has been directly linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and other health problems costing the country an additional $147 billion a year in health care.

The financial costs of obesity to the local community in terms of health care costs and other indirect costs, such as time away from work, are significant. Total costs of overweight and obesity were estimated at $357 million in 2003 for Duval County.

How will Physical Education help solve the problem?

Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, diabetes, and early death. However, children are currently not receiving enough physical activity to counter the obesity epidemic. A recent study showed the plaque buildup in the neck arteries of obese children or those with high cholesterol is similar to those levels seen in middle-aged adults and the presence of abnormal cholesterol in adolescents is 20.3%.  Unfortunately more and more children are getting diabetes due to obesity, poor diet and physical inactivity., in fact 23% of all deaths in the United States are linked to sedentary lifestyles. 

Why is it Important to have PE taught by Certified PE Teachers?

One of the many factors causing the obesity problem is lack of physical activity and learning how to live a healthy active life. Highly qualified physical education teachers possess the skills and knowledge to facilitate improved teaching practices, strengthen the quality of physical education instruction, and empower students to achieve and maintain healthy, active lifestyles.  A high-quality physical education program taught by a certified physical education teacher enhances the physical, mental, and social/emotional development of all children and helps them understand, improve, and maintain physical well-being.

What can Citizens do about it?

Now is the time for people to call their School Board members at 904-390-2885 and demand fully funded Physical Education for our children in Duval County. Help us tell people to let their  School Board member know they want  children to grow up living healthy, happy, active lives free of chronic disease. We need to tell the School Board members we care about the children of Duval County and   hope they care enough to keep Physical Education in the schools.

Health, Schools

Avenues Deer Creek Businesses