Submitted by Nike Inc.
LOS ANGELES, CA - May 15, 2007 - As part of a five-city community education and awareness tour in honor of National Sports and Fitness Month, Nike hosted a special NikeGO PE event today at Allesandro Elementary School. The event featured LA Dodger Russ Martin and representatives from the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), as well as faculty, staff and 150 students who came together to participate in a NikeGO PE class to address an important topic for Los Angeles youth: rising inactivity in school-age children, a major national health problem.
Today's NikeGO PE event highlighted a curriculum called "new PE," which delivers 30 minutes of constant physical activity in schools, ensuring that kids no longer have to stand in line for a turn or participate in elimination games.
"NikeGO PE seeks to instill a lifelong love of physical activity in young people and is designed to address rising inactivity rates in youth, a problem that we need to address in Los Angeles," said Allesandro PE teacher Maggie Yu-DiPasquale. "NikeGO PE provides elementary schools with tools to build a smart and effective approach to physical education, including a unique curriculum, teacher training and equipment."
NikeGO PE was created with help from SPARK (Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids), a research-based organization dedicated to creating, implementing and evaluating programs that promote lifelong wellness, to bridge the gap until more full-time P.E. specialists are placed in schools nationwide. The program complements the work of NASPE (National Association of Sport and Physical Education), a national organization that is working to increase PE classes in America's schools.
"It is extremely important for all children to grow up healthy, and exercising is one way we can make this happen," said Sarah O'Hagan, General Manager of Nike's Geographical Business Unit in Los Angeles. "To reach this goal in Los Angeles, we recently expanded NikeGO PE to include 115 LAUSD schools reaching 74,750 students."
American school-aged youth are becoming the least physically fit generation in history. In the past 30 years, overweight and obesity levels in children have more than doubled. There is evidence that today's youth will develop significant health complications such as heart disease, Type II diabetes (adult onset diabetes) and premature death unless they exercise more and eat less. Children spend a considerable amount of time in school, and schools are a powerful motivator for helping them adopt healthy lifestyles. Several studies demonstrate school-based PE programs are one of the most effective ways to facilitate activity in our youth.
Unfortunately, in many school districts across the country, the role of the PE specialist has been eliminated or drastically reduced. With recent national guidelines recommending that young people accumulate at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily, having a quality physical education program in every school must be a national priority. Through NikeGO PE, Nike seeks to increase the quality and quantity of PE in schools. The realities of the times we live in demand that we strengthen physical education in our schools and ultimately bring full-time PE, taught by PE specialists, back to every school in the United States.
Paul Rosengard, the Executive Director of the SPARK Programs, and the principal author of NikeGO PE adds, "Because physical activity must be done regularly over time to achieve health benefits, the goal of NikeGO PE is to encourage participating classroom teachers to supplement the P.E. instruction already provided by their school's PE specialist. NikeGO PE was created to bridge the gap until more full-time PE specialists are placed in schools nationwide - a goal that both Nike and SPARK strongly advocate for."
About NikeGO PE:
NikeGO PE is an innovative physical education program designed to increase the quality and quantity of physical activity in America's schools with an end goal of improving children's activity levels. NikeGO PE accomplishes this task by providing "the essential components": curriculum, teacher training, equipment, and follow up support to elementary PE specialists and classroom teachers. NikeGO PE is part of Nike's signature U.S. community affairs initiative - NikeGO. Since its inception in 2003, the program has been implemented in more than 400 public schools, reaching more than 75,000 students. For more information, visit www.nikego.com.
About SPARK (Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids):
SPARK is a research-based organization (of San Diego State University and Sportime, LLC, a member of the School Specialty Family of companies), dedicated to creating, implementing, and evaluating programs that promote lifelong wellness. SPARK strives to improve the health of children and adolescents by disseminating evidence-based physical activity and nutrition programs that provide curriculum, staff development, follow-up support, and equipment to teachers of Pre-K through 12th grade students. For more information, visit www.sparkpe.org.
NIKE, Inc. based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly-owned NIKE subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories and Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes surf and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories. For more information, visit www.nikeinc.com.
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