Active Schools is excited to announce seven-time Olympic medalist Shannon Miller, Stanfield Elementary School principal Chris Lineberry, and founding/former principal of Red Hawk Elementary School Cyrus Weinberger as the first Active Schools Ambassadors. This newly created team of athletes and experts is helping Active Schools inform parents, principals, teachers, policymakers, and the public about the many benefits of physical education and physical activity – including physical health, social-emotional health, and academic performance. The goal? To create a demand for K-12 schools to take action and provide students with at least 60 minutes a day of physical education and physical activity before, during, and after school.
“We are proud of what has been accomplished since Active Schools’ inception in 2013, but our work is not done,” says Active Schools Executive Director Charlene Burgeson. “The majority of our nation’s children and adolescents are inadequately active — and most schools are not providing enough physical education and physical activity opportunities. With physical inactivity and obesity epidemics and ever-increasing mental health challenges, now, more than ever, we need to get our message out and create champions and advocates for active school environments.”
“Active Schools needs role models who exemplify the belief that Active Kids Do Better,” she continues. “Be it bringing awareness to both the benefits and joy of movement, integrating activity into academics, or making before and after school physical activity programs a priority, our ambassadors are practicing what we preach and helping us bring our vision of active, healthy, and happy kids to life. I’m pleased and honored to welcome them aboard.”
Seven-time Olympic medalist Shannon Miller remains the most decorated Olympic gymnast in American history. An advocate for the health and wellness of women and children through her company Shannon Miller Lifestyle and a mother of two, she knows how important it is to instill a love of movement from an early age.
“There are so many good things that come from being physically active,” says Miller, “And so many ways to do it – from participating in sports, riding a bike, playing tag, throwing a ball — even seeing how long you can balance on one foot! Studies show physical activity and movement benefits brain activity and I am proud to serve as an ambassador for Active Schools.”
“Shannon Miller truly demonstrates her belief in the importance and benefits of school physical education and physical activity in a credible and authentic manner,” says Burgeson. “We are thrilled to join forces with her as a spokesperson for Active Schools.”
Dr. Chris Lineberry is principal at Stanfield Elementary School in Arizona and co-author of the book, Recess Was My Favorite Subject…Where Did It Go? An advocate for integrating health and wellness throughout the entire curriculum, he was honored as 2016-17 Principal of the Year by the Arizona Health and Physical Education AssociationCyrus Weinberger
Cyrus Weinberger is founding and former principal of Red Hawk Elementary School in Erie, Colorado, and is currently preparing to open a new PK-8 school in the district in fall 2018. As the principal at Red Hawk, Cyrus developed a rigorous academic program coupled with a comprehensive wellness program — which now serves as the model for an online course on classroom physical activity integration, funded by the Colorado Health Foundation.
Created in 2013, Active Schools is a national movement to ensure that 60 minutes a day of physical education and before, during, and after school physical activity is the norm in K-12 schools throughout the United States. It is powered by an unprecedented collaborative of public and private organizations, currently 75, who believe that meaningful, sustainable, large-scale social change is best accomplished when organizations and individuals work together. To learn more about Active Schools and join the movement, visit www.activeschoolsus.org.