CSU, Chico News

Skye ‘The P.E. Guy’ Concludes Cross-Country Trek; Visits Children’s Storefront School in Harlem

Date: 11-15-2007

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico graduate student Skye “The P.E. Guy” Dunn is in New York City as he concludes a six-month, coast-to-coast walk/bike/skate trek advocating healthy and high-quality physical education as an answer to the nation’s obesity problem.

Dunn and his crew of four took a dip in the Pacific Ocean June 4 in San Francisco to begin the trek to the Atlantic Ocean, which they plan to reach tomorrow, Nov. 16. On route, they visited P.E. classes, interviewed principals and talked to people about their physical education experiences as Dunn promoted quality physical education as a crucial part of the solution to the nation’s obesity problem.

To demonstrate his commitment to physical education and fitness, Dunn biked, walked, skated or skateboarded the entire way.

As a CSU, Chico graduate student, Dunn, 31, decided to devote himself to the promotion of lifetime activities in physical education. He came up with the “Skye The P.E. Guy” moniker and concept of crossing the country to dramatize the urgent need for health and exercise for children.

While in New York, Dunn is visiting The Children’s Storefront School in Harlem on Nov. 19 to encourage students to take at least 10,000 steps every day, even over the holidays. To help them, Dunn will present the school with two class sets of high-quality pedometers.

Dunn will do activities with the children and teach them how much movement it takes to burn off the holiday sweets. Pedometers count the students’ steps throughout the day, and are easy-to-use educational tools that motivate students to move more.

While in New York City, Dunn will also be kicking off Project Skye-Walker. The Children’s Storefront School will be one of the first three schools to participate in the Skye-Walker Challenge week (the other two schools are in Kansas City and San Diego). Using the pedometers to count their steps, students will aim to get the recommended amount of steps a day, 11,000 for girls and 13,000 for boys, for a week. Students will also teach their families about the importance of getting your recommended daily dosage of steps.

Dunn is completing his master’s degree from the Department of Kinesiology at CSU, Chico. He has a BA in physical education teacher education, and is qualified by the state of California in the subject matter of P.E.

CASPER (Center for Advancement of Standards-based Physical Education Reform), the nonprofit organization behind Skye “The P.E. Guy,” advocates physical education as a crucial part of the solution to the obesity problem in the United States. “Quality physical education helps students develop the skills, knowledge and desire they need to be active now and for the rest of their lives, which is key to solving the obesity problem,” said CSU, Chico kinesiology professor Cathrine Himberg, CASPER founder and director.

Dunn is working with CASPER to empower parents, school administrators and elected officials to demand quality physical education classes and decry P.E. classes that are little more than “babysitting” recess periods.

Dunn is encouraging businesses and individuals to become supporters of quality P.E. by financially “adopting” physical education programs so that they have better educators and equipment.

After the Thanksgiving visit to New York City, Dunn and his crew will spend a week in West Virginia, working with the group “West Virginia On the Move” to promote physical activity. West Virginia has one of the nation’s worst obesity problems.

For more information on his trip, contact Dunn at (530) 230-8745 or skyethepeguy@hotmail.com. For more information about physical education issues, contact Himberg at (530) 898-6373, or go to the CASPER Web site.