Get Moving Project Offers a New Kind of PE
By Gina Sims (BA, Anthropology, ’95), Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion
They parade onto school campuses armed with fruits, vegetables, and parachutes. Affectionately called the “pedometer people,” these CSU, Chico students are active in the fight to combat childhood obesity as part of a $623,633 grant project awarded to the Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion (CNAP).
“During this financially difficult time in education, this grant provides an opportunity for physical education training for our teachers and to enhance the curriculum,” says Carol Brown, principal of Golden Hills Elementary School. “Teachers will learn fun games and activities to do with their students, which will, in turn, promote fitness, health, and performance.”
The new project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, is called Get Moving South County and allows CNAP to enhance its efforts to improve physical education (PE) programs and reduce rates of overweight students in Oroville and Palermo school districts. As part of the program, each of the seven participating schools will receive $10,000 in PE equipment, classroom curriculum, and PE training for teachers.
Get Moving South County will contract with Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids (SPARK) to provide professional development for teachers. SPARK is a research-based public health organization that provides training in inclusive, active, and fun PE classes.
CSU, Chico students from the Adapted Physical Activity Program will be recruited and trained as SPARK play coaches by kinesiology professor Marci Pope. They will work and play with elementary students during recess and lunch breaks while promoting schoolwide physical activity programs. Students will also act as research assistants throughout the project.
Get Moving builds on existing successful CNAP programs like Harvest of the Month. Under the guidance of Amy Gonzales and Jenni Dye, both CSU, Chico graduates and registered dietitians, nutrition students teach children and families about the importance of eating healthy via “guest chef” classroom visits and Eat Right When Money Is Tight parent classes.
Community members are invited to support school efforts by participating in a Get Moving South County coalition. The coalition will adopt the national Let’s Move! Initiative, aimed at reducing childhood obesity by teaching kids to eat healthy and be physically active.
Project director Michele Buran is excited to create a movement on these campuses. “With new PE equipment, districtwide training, community collaboration, and support from CSU, Chico students, elementary school students will have many more opportunities for physical activity throughout the day,” says Buran.
CONCANNON (BS, Business Administration, ’85) is a fourth-generation vintner at Concannon Vineyard.
(BS, Business Administration, ’94) is the human resources manager for the News & Review, headquartered in Sacramento.
(BS, Business Administration, ’87) is executive vice president and chief financial officer of Epicor Software Corporation.