Bring Physical Education Back to Parkrose Schools
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Currently, Physical Education is not being offered in many of the schools in the Parkrose School District. The schools in Parkrose are categorized as Title 1 and because of income limitations, team sports are often a luxury many kids don't have access to. Both of these factors make access to Physical Education within our schools even more important.
The majority of Oregon schools failed to meet increased physical education standards this year (including Parkrose). Schools were given ten years, beginning in 2007, to reach at least 150 minutes of physical education per week for students in kindergarten through fifth grade and 225 minutes per week for grades 6-8.
Multiple studies have shown if schools cut back time in P.E. to use elsewhere, it doesn't help students academically. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK201497/
There are many reasons why Physical Education has been removed from our schools, including the recession and No Child Left Behind. While the Oregon legislature has extended the deadline for Oregon Schools to meet the Physical Education Standard, many districts have considered the resources they have available to them and met the standard by the original deadline. We are asking for the same determination from the Parkrose School District. We respectfully ask that you please consider all options, including budget and grant availability. With limited resources, the district could think creatively to meet this need. This could mean doubled-up classes or, because we are a small district, it could be possible to share two Physical Education educators among the four elementary schools.
Here are some reasons why Physical Education is as important as school work during the formative years:
1. Enhances an individual’s ability to concentrate and maintain focus:
Several studies show that performing physical activities helps in enlarging the basal ganglia of the brain. The Basal Ganglia is a part of the brain which is responsible to maintain an individual’s capability to focus. In this current era students are exposed to several diversions in the form of technology (Television, tablets, PCs, Mobile phones); therefore, it is difficult for them to maintain focus. By promoting physical education, school teachers can help students improve their concentration. Schools often arrange physical games and exercises which require concentration. Thus, students are promoted to take part in such activities along with their school work, which this will help maintain healthy bodies and minds.
2. Important for healthy growth and development:
In today’s world, even if they get a healthy meal in school, many school children eat unhealthy foods at home. These may include the fries, soft drinks, pizzas and burgers. Consuming these on a regular basis can lead to childhood obesity.
Physical education at school helps in preventing obesity and high blood pressure. Physical exercise and activities will help them burn off their extra calories. If these calories are not burned off they will be stored as fat. By doing physical exercises individuals use their extra calories to gain energy.
Plus, such activities play an important role in the healthy growth and development of bones and cartilages. Bone strengthening exercises such as jumping are particularly important for school children as such activities produce a force onto the bone that helps enhance its strength and growth. While muscle strengthening exercises make muscles larger and stronger, they also help children carry more weight and aid in protecting joints against injuries.
A physically active student will also have a healthy heart. Any exercise which provides oxygen to the muscles is called as an aerobic exercise. Such exercises are essential for a healthy heart. Research shows that kids who perform aerobic exercises, two to three times a week for at least twenty minutes, have a healthier heart as compared to those who don’t take part in physical education.
3. Prevents sleep deprivation:
A complete night’s sleep is an essential component of a happy and healthy life. Those students who take part in physical activities and exercise regularly have a tired body at the end of the day, which craves a good night’s sleep.
Complete sleep makes kids more upright and attentive during lectures in classroom. Being attentive will help prevent them from performing careless mistakes and will provide them energy to be helpful towards teachers and their fellow students.
4. Helps in relieving stress and anxiety:
School life is hectic for every individual. Therefore, taking part in physical activities and education allows students to relieve their academic stress and anxiety. Stress might be due to a fight with a friend or a low grade despite of hard work. Stressed students are not able to concentrate and focus on their academic performance if they are not allowed time and activity to de-stress.
Physical activities give students an environment to breathe out their stress. By exercising and breathing deeply, we provide extra air to our lungs which in turn provides more oxygen to the brain, which makes the brain feel relaxed and stress free.
A physically active individual is more likely to be happy and healthy, which makes them a better student in the classroom. They often feel proud and happy about themselves and are good towards their fellow students.
5. Physical education makes an individual flexible and happy:
Balancing exercise and stretching helps improve physical balance which decreases the chances of injuries. Those students who make physical education as important as their school work become more flexible in their routine life. Such activities make the body elastic and flexible. It allows an individual to manage both a physical and mental workload. Scientific research reveals the fact that physical education in school helps to improve the connections between neurons of the brain. Healthy and well-connected neurons help improve the over-all thinking ability of students, thus making them better students in classroom.
Many schools have made physical education an essential component of school curriculum and students are encouraged to maintain a healthy balance between their education and exercise. This is due to the fact that those students who take part in physical activities have proved to be happier and healthier than those students who spend all their time doing school education work. Physical activities help develop the blood circulation in an individual’s body. This helps in providing more oxygen to the heart and brain and allows the body to maintain a balance between physical and mental health.
6. Physical Education helps to develop Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence (Gross motor skills):
The core elements of the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence are control of one's bodily motions and the capacity to handle objects skillfully.
Gross motor skills are important to enable children to perform every day functions, such as walking, running, skipping, as well as playground skills (e.g. climbing) and sporting skills (e.g. catching, throwing and hitting a ball with a bat). These are crucial for everyday self care skills like dressing (where you need to be able to stand on one leg to put your leg into a pant leg without falling over).
Gross motor abilities also have an influence on other everyday functions. For example, a child’s ability to maintain table top posture (upper body support) will affect their ability to participate in fine motor skills (e.g. writing, drawing and cutting) and sitting upright to attend to class instruction, which then impacts on their academic learning. Gross motor skills impact on your endurance to cope with a full day of school (sitting upright at a desk, moving between classrooms, carrying your heavy school bag).
Please take a moment to sign this petition, in hopes that Parkrose School District will reevaluate the need for Physical Education in our children's schools.
Resources relied on for this petition include, but are not limited to:
Committee on Physical Activity and Physical Education in the School Environment; Food and Nutrition Board; Institute of Medicine; Kohl HW III, Cook HD, editors. Educating the Student Body: Taking Physical Activity and Physical Education to School. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2013 Oct 30. 3, Physical Activity and Physical Education: Relationship to Growth, Development, and Health. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK201497/
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