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TOPEKA, KS — This fall, your kids could be staying active and moving in the classroom.
Dozens of teachers from all over the state came to Washburn University Thursday, so they could get schooled on how to keep kids exercising in school.
These teachers are learning, how to keep it moving. It is the focus of Let’s Move! Active Kansas Schools, a campaign to fight childhood obesity across the country, and it is here in Topeka.
“The purpose of that is to help kids be physically active 60 minutes a day. We know that doesn’t happen during the school day, so we’re giving strategies for how to get classroom teachers to get the kids up moving more how to get family and communities involved and how to impact staff involvement,” said Rhonda Holt, Project Director for Let’s Move! Active Kansas Schools.
According to the CDC, obesity among children and adolescents in the entire nation has almost tripled since 1980. In Kansas, obesity rates for kids in grades 9 through 12 are about 12%.
These physical education teachers are finding out ways to add activity programs constantly throughout the day in their schools.
“Anytime you can promote more physical activity in a school, it’s going to be a good thing,” said Ashley Stewart, P.E. Teacher.
Since some schools around the nation are cutting back recess time and focusing more on the classroom, where kids are usually sitting, this program helps teachers think of ways to get their kids up and moving.
But teachers understand that it is not as easy as it sounds.
“I hope that it becomes a culture change. That when we walk into schools, physical activity is the culture of that school, it’s not the exception,” said Holt.
It all starts with two words: Just Move!
Let’s Move! Active Kansas Schools has trained a total of 200 school physical educators across the state. The program is completely funded through the Kansas Health Foundation.