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Nike Raises Awareness of the Importance of Physical Education in Chicago Public Schools Through NikeGO PE, a Program Available in 400 Schools Nationally


Mollison Elementary Students Teach Football Great Tommie Harris About the Advantages of “New PE” to Stay Fit and Healthy

As part of a five-city community education and awareness tour in honor of National Physical Education and Sport Week (May 1-7), Nike will host a special NikeGO PE event today at Mollison Elementary School. The event features football star Tommie Harris and women’s basketball stars Candice Dupree and Armintie Price - who have come together to participate in a NikeGO PE class to address an important topic for Chicago youth: rising inactivity in school-age youth, a major national health problem.

Today’s NikeGO PE event will highlight a curriculum called “new PE,” which 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 Mollison Elementary NikeGO PE demonstration will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the school gymnasium at 4415 S. King Dr, Chicago. As part of its commitment to provide students with the means to stay fit, NikeGO PE will present a check to Rufus Williams, President, Chicago Board of Education, for $80,000, the retail donation amount for 1,000 pairs of athletic shoes to CPS students.

“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 Chicago,” said Daryl Jones, Nike spokesperson. “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,” said Jones. “To reach this goal in Chicago we recently expanded NikeGO PE to include 65 schools and trained 315 teachers to lead classroom instruction. The program has now reached over 16,000 students and our goal is to bring the program into 100 schools by the end of the school year.”

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 will develop significant health complications such as heart disease, Type II diabetes (adult onset diabetes) and premature death unless they exercise more and eat less. 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 must be a national priority. Through NikeGO PE, Nike seeks to increase the quality and quantity of PE in schools. The realities of the times we live in demand that we strengthen physical education in our schools and ultimately bring full-time PE, taught by PE specialists, back to every school in the United States.

Paul Rosengard, the Executive Director of the SPARK Programs, and the principal author of NikeGO PE adds, “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 PE instruction already provided by their school’s PE specialist. NikeGO PE was created to bridge the gap until more full-time PE specialists are placed in schools nationwide – a goal that both Nike and SPARK strongly advocate for.”


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