Online Physical Education Network (OPEN) and University of Northern Colorado Active Schools Lab Recognized as 2018 Active Schools Partners of the Year

Active Schools recently honored Online Physical Education Network (OPEN) and University of Northern Colorado Active Schools Lab with its annual Partner of the Year Award.

Active Schools is a national movement dedicated to helping K-12 schools provide students with at least 60 minutes a day of physical education and before, during and after school physical activity. It is powered by 90+ health, education and private sector partner organizations.

“In addition to working passionately to address their own missions, these partners work together to advance our Active Schools shared mission,” says Charlene Burgeson, Active Schools Executive Director. “Their collaboration and contributions are key to our success.”

The Active Schools Partner of the Year Award recognizes organizations that have prioritized the cause of active schools and supported schools in implementing physical education and physical activity best practices during the past year. The awards were presented at the 2018 Active Schools Partner Summit in greater Washington, DC.

“Each year we are proud to recognize partner organizations that have gone above and beyond in their contributions to the movement” says Burgeson. “This year, OPEN and University of Northern Colorado Active Schools Lab truly shined in sharing their expertise and amplifying our movement’s activities to help create active schools for our nation’s kids. We are proud to recognize them as our 2018 Active Schools Partners of the Year.”

A public service of US Games, OPEN has one mission: to improve the effectiveness of physical education for every child. Free to all educators, the online network provides access to rigorous, outcomes-based physical education curriculum and instructional tools. Since launching in 2015, more than 36,000 teachers have become registered members of Over 1,000 documents are downloaded each day, and the project’s equity impact has reached more than 18 million students.

“Active Schools’ collective impact structure really resonates with our core mission,” says Aaron Hart, creator of OPEN and Director of Educational Programs of OPEN. “We’re teachers helping teachers. Our partnership with Active Schools has helped us expand our reach to schools that may not know our resources exist.”

In the past 12 months, OPEN has worked to promote Active Schools initiatives, including Take Your Parent to PE Week and the Active Classrooms campaign.

“I always try to keep my eye out for things that we are working on that align with Active Schools initiatives and goals – opportunities where our values match,” says Hart.

The University of North Colorado Active Schools Lab’s mission is to cultivate active learning settings for all Colorado youth through data-informed processes and leadership development in school wide physical activity programming.  It supports and connects school communities by providing continuing education for physical activity leadership; data, research, and evaluation services; and evidence-based resource development.

The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) Active Schools Lab and Active Schools share a vision of addressing physical inactivity and obesity among youth. UNC Sport and Exercise Science faculty Russell Carson and Brian Dauenhauer serve on Active Schools leadership committees.

“Our work — including service to SHAPE America, community engaged scholarship, ongoing professional development, and state-level leadership — all align with the overarching mission of Active Schools and contributes to the cause,” says Professor Russell Carson. “We appreciate what Active Schools means, as well as what it has become.”

“The Active Schools movement is foundational to everything that we do,” says Brian Dauenhauer, Assistant Professor. “We have been a steady supporter of the movement since its inception in 2013. We anticipate continuing to seamlessly integrate Active Schools in our priorities and future activities.”

To learn more about Active Schools and join 36,000 other champions for school physical education and physical activity, visit

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