March 20, 2015 – At the 2015 SHAPE America National Convention & Expo, Let’s Move! Active Schools (a sub-initiative of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign) and USA Track & Field (USATF) announced a new alliance that will make USATF’s youth activity program, RunJumpThrow, accessible to millions of American school children.
USATF joins 19 other leading health and education organizations as part of the national Let’s Move! Active Schools collaborative aimed at ensuring 60 minutes of physical activity a day is the new norm in schools across the country. Each supporter contributes key expertise, resources, services or financial support to raise awareness of how physical activity improves academic success and commits to help grow the number of schools with physical activity and physical education policies, practices and environments.
“USATF brings leadership and deep-rooted youth education experience to our national collaborative,” said Let’s Move! Active Schools Executive Director Charlene Burgeson. “We are pleased that the group has committed to increasing physical activity opportunities for K-12 students through its RunJumpThrow grant program, which creates active learning environments for school-aged kids.”
Beginning August 2015, USATF will award a scholarship to one Lets Move! Active Schools enrolled school every week for one year leading into the 2016 Olympic Games, to be used for purchase of a RunJumpThrow equipment kit. Grant applications will be available online starting June 2015. USATF will also host RunJumpThrow Experiences, large-scale community events, specifically for select Let’s Move! Active Schools enrolled schools.
Through RunJumpThrow, kids participate in fun, hands-on learning events designed to build basic running, jumping and throwing skills. The RunJumpThrow toolkit for educators includes a turnkey, six-week curriculum and instructional DVD demonstrating as many as 20 physical activities. RunJumpThrow may also be conducted in schools as a single-day event.
“We are thrilled to team up with Lets Move! Active Schools in this important initiative,” USATF Chief Executive Officer Max Siegel said. “With this collaboration we will be able to positively impact millions of youth and the educators who impact their lives. We are excited about expanding the community of schools that benefit from RunJumpThrow and Let’s Move! Active Schools.”
Studies show that active kids do better: Physical activity not only helps kids stay healthy and strong, but it can also lead to higher test scores, improved attendance, better behavior in class and lower rates of childhood obesity.
The Let’s Move! Active Schools national collaborative works together to transform the physical activity and physical education culture in America’s schools. By streamlining the selection of programs, resources, professional development and funding opportunities and delivering each school a customized Action Plan, Let’s Move! Active Schools results in students moving for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended 60 minutes a day.
Since its March 2013 launch, more than 14,500 schools have enrolled in Let’s Move! Active Schools, and more than 8 million students have been impacted by the initiative. Let’s Move! Active Schools strives to reach 50,000 schools and 25 million students by 2018.