CSU, Chico News

Program Will Enhance Physical Education in South Butte County Schools

Date: 01-18-2012

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Michele Buran
Get Moving Program

The Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion at California State University, Chico has received a highly competitive $623,863 U.S. Department of Education grant to enhance physical education programs and reduce rates of overweight students in Oroville and Palermo school districts.

In the seven schools included in the grant, classroom teachers are responsible for providing physical education opportunities to approximately 3,100 students. With funding for Get Moving South County, the schools will be able to increase their capacity to offer quality physical education. Get Moving will contract with Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids (SPARK) to provide professional development that aligns with all California Physical Education Model Content Standards.

CSU, Chico students will be recruited and trained as “play coaches,” using SPARK guidelines. They will work directly with students during recess and lunch breaks and help promote school-wide physical activity programs. Marci Pope, who teaches with the Adapted Physical Activity program in the Department of Kinesiology, will train the college students, who will be integral to the program’s goal of modeling activities for teachers. The students will also be getting important hands-on experience in their field.

The program has several aims, including to help ethnically diverse, low-income students in grades K-6 meet the California Standards for Physical Education; to reduce rates of overweight children; to increase fruit and vegetable consumption; and to improve fitness scores. A Get Moving South County coalition will be developed to adopt the National Let’s Move Initiative and to mobilize community partners to support the school-based efforts.

Michele Buran, physical activity specialist for the Sierra Cascade Region, is the Get Moving program director. “We’re excited to literally create a ‘movement’ on these campuses,” said Buren. “With new PE equipment, district-wide training, community collaboration and support from CSU, Chico students, elementary school students will have many more opportunities for physical activity throughout the day.”

The Get Moving South County PE Program dovetails with existing CNAP nutrition education efforts. Nutrition education activities are already being implemented by the Sierra Cascade Nutrition and Activity Consortium (a CNAP program) under a grant from the USDA and the Network for a Healthy California. In recognition of programmatic successes, the Network for a Healthy California recognized CNAP and the CSU, Chico Research Foundation as the recipients of the 2009 Nonnie Korten Champion for Children Award.