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line dancePEP Grant PE Workshop: Last week I was in West Virginia doing a workshop for the great K-12 physical education teachers of Wood County Schools (Parkersburg, WV).  A wonderful time was had by all, especially me!  I would like to thank each of the teachers for their dedication and commitment to children and youth!

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Press Releases Do Pay Off! While we were there, the Fox affiliate TV station (WTAP TV-15) dropped by to see how the country’s current obesity epidemic can be address through stronger physical education programs.  The TV station responded to a short press release designed by the school district.

Data-Driven Changes: This school district is making a variety of instructional changes to their program based on a wide spectrum of student data and the associated fiscal impact (i.e., higher insurance rates, lost days of employment) due to childhood overweight and adult obesity.

BeltlineThey are especially interested in hearing from other school districts who are gathering data on academic success and student fitness scores.  One of the many ideas that were discussed is the need to have a standardized set of collected data so that we can compile the results in a valid and reliable manner.  So, if you are interested in such a project, please let me know and I’ll pass the word on to them.

mystery mazeA special word of “thanks!” to Karen Northrup who heads up the school district’s PEP Grant and her visionary leadership!  A nurse by training, Karen has been instrumental in helping her community understand the importance of physical education and has developed a strong coordinated school health programs model in the school district. Here’s an example:

Through the L.I.F.E. (Lifestyle Improvements in the Family Environment) program, Health Services offers heart health screenings in conjunction with vision/hearing screenings and dental assessment in kindergarten, 2nd, and 5th grades. The program also offers healthier lifestyle interventions through physical education, increased physical activity during the school day, interactive nutrition programming, and school to home opportunities.

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