Health and Fitness: Back to school and ready to learn

Originally published Aug. 18, 2019 in the Aiken Standard.

By Dr. Brian B. Parr

Physical activity and good nutrition have long been recognized as essential for promoting good health in adults and children. More and more research suggests that these health behaviors can have beneficial effects beyond health, including how we perform both physically and mentally. The emphasis here is on children in school, but it applies to adults, too.

Unfortunately, taking time for activity and good nutrition is seen as a luxury or a distraction to learning in most schools. Far from being a distraction, physical activity and healthy eating are prerequisites for learning and academic achievement. In short, these often-ignored factors can help make sure children are ready to learn. This is especially relevant at this time of year since children are headed back to school. Read More

Seventeen Harlandale ISD schools ‘Walk Across Texas’ during AgriLife Extension competition

Originally published May 2, 2019 in AgriLife Today.

By Paul Schattenberg

More than 1,600 youth from 17 schools in the Harlandale Independent School District walked over 338,190 miles while completing the Walk Across Texas after-school fitness challenge presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

A concluding Walk Across Texas celebration was held recently at Vestal Elementary, the winning school of the district competition. Student participants were presented first-place medals and school staffers received certificates of appreciation. In addition, Vestal received a first-place trophy that will rotate to the winning school of each year’s competition. Read More

Runners Club of Miami-Dade Special Education Students Train for 5K

Originally published April 3, 2018 by NBC 6 Miami.

By Ari Odzer

It started three years ago as a way to get special education students interested in fitness. Now the AP Runners club at American Senior High School in Hialeah has turned into a source of pride for the whole school.

“The student population recognizes them, salutes them, they’re in the population,” explained Annie Perez, the physical education teacher who created the AP Runners (AP stands for American Patriots). Read More

No April Fools’ Day here

Originally published March 30, 2019 in the Log Cabin Democrat.

By Hilary Andrews

Students across the state will soon be enjoying more break times during their school days thanks to a new law Arkansas’ governor will sign on Monday.

House Bill 1409, sponsored by Rep. Jana Della Rosa, who is serving her third term, was filed in early February for this year’s state legislative session. The proposal suggested requiring elementary schools across the state to provide at least 40 minutes of recess for its students. Read More

Legislation Calling for More School Exercise Time Clears Key Vote

Originally published March 7, 2019 in Bethesda Magazine.

By Caitlynn Peetz

For the first time since it was introduced a decade ago, a bill requiring that elementary schools provide students 90 minutes of physical education instruction each week — double what Montgomery students get — received approval Thursday in the state House of Delegates.

As proposed, House Bill 110 was opposed by the Montgomery school board because it could have cost an estimated $11.3 million. But amendments watered down the 90-minute mandate, instead calling the time a target that school districts should aim to achieve.

The bill passed the House 140-0 and heads to the Senate for consideration. Read More