Welcome to Oak Harbor Elementary. I am sure that your student is going to have a fantastic year here. Your student will be having physical education two days a week for 30 minutes a session. Please be sure to have them wear appropriate shoes and clothing to P.E. on their P.E. days.
Your student will also be participating in a walking program Monday through Friday on our walking path. When students arrive at school in the morning they will begin walking and will walk on our path until the first bell rings. It would be helpful to have them wear their P.E. shoes for this activity as well. P.E. shoes can be kept in their backpack and put on when needed.
In this letter, I want to emphasize the importance of physical activity in your child’s education which is vital to his or her health and wellness. Children should accumulate 60 minutes of physical activity per day.
We have all heard the statistics that the percentage of overweight youth has more than tripled in the past 25 years partially due to increased interest in sedentary activities such as television, computers, and video games. A reduction in physical activity, as well as an increase in caloric intake, has not only contributed to an obesity epidemic, but our children are developing “adult” health issues such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
I am often asked about the difference between physical activity, physical education, and recess so let me take a moment to explain. Physical activity is a bodily movement of any type including recreational fitness and sports activities such as jumping rope, playing soccer, lifting weights, as well as daily activities such as walking to the store, taking the stairs or raking leaves. A variety of physical activity opportunities are vital to children’s growth and development.
The cornerstone of a child’s physical activity in school is physical education. School physical education programs offer the best opportunity to provide physical activity to all children and teach them the skills and knowledge needed to establish and sustain an active lifestyle. Physical education teachers assess student knowledge, motor, and social skills, and provide instruction in a safe, supportive environment. In addition to physical education programs, schools have many opportunities for children to participate in physical activity. One of these opportunities is for students to participate in daily recess.
September is National Recess Month, a time to recognize the need that children have for short, unstructured play and physical activity. Recess, unstructured opportunities of play and physical activity, is an essential element of a child’s academic performance because it helps energize them and get them ready to learn more effectively.
As a parent, you can encourage your child to engage in more physical activity after school and on the weekends. Playing with your child will not only motivate your child to be more active, but it will increase your own personal physical activity; which is a win-win situation!
I look forward to an exciting, productive, and healthy school year. I can assure you that in my classes your child will participate in developmentally appropriate activities that will help increase their physical competence, self-esteem, and joy of being physically active no matter what their physical abilities may be. By enhancing your child’s physical activity education, I am certain we will be able to help your child enjoy a lifetime of physical activity and good health. If you have any questions about the physical education program at OHE, please feel free to contact me via e-mail or by phone.