Active Schools, a national movement to help K-12 schools provide students with at least 60 minutes a day of physical education and before, during and after school physical activity, has released a practical resource aimed at getting parents involved in their child’s physical education and physical activity. A Guide to Engaging Parents in Schools Physical Education and Physical Activity: Resources and Examples is designed for teachers, individuals, and groups who work with parents, such as physical education teachers, parent/family engagement staff, principals, PTA/PTOs, and school health/wellness committees.
Research shows that when schools engage families in ways that enhance student learning and parent involvement at home and school, students make greater gains. Charlene Burgeson, Active Schools Executive Director stresses that this pertains to students’ physical learning and development. “Families play an important role in helping students practice the knowledge and skills they learn in physical education class outside of school time. Just like reading and math, what a child learns about health and wellness at school needs to be practiced and reinforced at home.”
The practical 11-page guide, divided into seven easy to use sections, explores various opportunities for parental engagement. From ideas about back to school events and family fitness nights to cultivating active school environments, the interactive guide is full of links to tried-and-true examples — such as newsletters, bulletin boards, presentations, videos, and more.
The guide starts with an introduction from Active Schools Ambassador Shannon Miller, a seven-time Olympic medalist, health and wellness advocate, and mother of two. She believes that “we need to promote the power of living active lifestyles in school and out. While it’s great to learn about physical education, it’s even better to be physically active — and that’s where parents and families fit in.”
Cumulative evidence from several decades of research points to multiple benefits of family involvement for a child’s learning, including higher grades and test scores, better school attendance, higher self-esteem, improved social skills, higher graduation rates, and lower rates of risk-taking behavior. Research also shows that good nutrition and regular physical activity are vital to a child’s academic success. Simply put, healthy students are better learners.
“We are the best role models for our children,” says Miller. “Our children may not always want to do what we say, but quite often they do want to do what we do. It is important for them to see that we value physical activity.”
Inspire the parents of your students to get involved and get active — download the guide today!
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 82, 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.