Nike Combats Childhood Inactivity in New York City Schools Through NikeGO PE, A Program Available in 400 Schools Nationally
Asher Levy Students Show New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein the Advantages of “New PE” to Stay Fit and Healthy
New York City Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein will accept the Ross Merrick National Recognition Award presented by the National Association of Sports and Physical Education (NASPE) to the New York City Department of Education today. This award honors the district’s commitment to improving physical education. A key component to the school district’s curriculum is the NikeGO PE program. A press conference and awards ceremony will take place at the Asher Levy School in Manhattan.
The event will feature a NikeGO PE class to address an important topic for New York youth: rising inactivity in school-age youth, a major national health problem. The NikeGO PE program delivers 30 minutes of constant physical activity in schools, ensuring that kids no longer have to stand in line for a turn or participate in elimination games. The Asher Levy NikeGO PE demonstration will take place at 10:30 AM on May 2nd.
“NikeGO PE seeks to instill a lifelong love of physical activity in young people and is designed to address rising inactivity rates in youth, a problem that we need to address in New York as well as across the country,” said Ralph Greene, General Manager, Nike New York. “NikeGO PE provides elementary schools with tools to build a smart and effective approach to physical education, including a unique curriculum, teacher training and equipment.”
NikeGO PE was created with help from SPARK (Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids), a research-based organization dedicated to creating, implementing and evaluating programs that promote lifelong wellness, to bridge the gap until more full-time PE specialists are placed in schools nationwide. The program complements the work of NASPE (National Association of Sport and Physical Education), a national organization that is working to increase PE classes in America’s schools.
“It is extremely important for all children to grow up healthy and strong,” continued Greene. “It’s wonderful to see a city that prides itself on actively taking a step toward increasing the level of activity among school children.”
American school-aged youth are becoming the least physically fit generation in history. In the past 30 years, overweight and obesity levels in children have more than doubled. There is evidence that today’s youth may develop significant health complications such as heart disease, Type II diabetes (adult onset diabetes) and premature death unless they exercise more. Children spend a considerable amount of time in school, and schools are a powerful motivator for helping them adopt healthy lifestyles. Several studies demonstrate school-based PE programs are one of the most effective ways to facilitate activity in our youth.
Unfortunately, in many school districts across the country, the role of the PE specialist has been eliminated or drastically reduced. With recent national guidelines recommending that young people accumulate at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily, having a quality physical education program in every school should be a national priority. Through NikeGO PE, Nike seeks to increase the quality and quantity of PE in schools.
“Because physical activity must be done regularly over time to achieve health benefits, the goal of NikeGO PE is to encourage participating classroom teachers to supplement the physical education instruction already provided by their school’s PE specialist,” said Paul Rosengard, executive director for the SPARK Programs. “NikeGO PE was created to bridge the gap until more full-time PE specialists are placed in schools nationwide – a shared goal of Nike and SPARK.”
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