Gym class still important

When it comes down to it, you can basically summarize much of what needs to be addressed in the U.S. and other countries by the following statement: (truly one of the best lines from one of the best movies ever)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK-Dqj4fHmM]

The NFL Network is building on the success of its Keep Gym in School program. Again, this is a smart, comprehensive approach to an epidemic in our country. Kids need to play, have fun, and be fit. Healthy bodies healthy minds.

From PRNewswire, Sept. 22, 2009. Full press release at http://news.prnewswire.com/ViewContent.aspx?ACCT=109&STORY=/www/story/09-22-2009/0005098512&EDATE=, with an excerpt below.

NFL Network Launches 2009 National Keep Gym in School Campaign at New York City Middle School; Effort Will Give More U.S. Students Access to Quality Physical Education; ┬áNFL Network expanding ‘Keep Gym in School’ program in year two as latest studies show youth facing alarming rates of obesity and related diseases

Public can nominate middle schools for $1,000 Keep Gym in School grants at www.keepgyminschool.com

NEW YORK, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ — Responding to warnings that record rates of childhood obesity and related diseases could mean the next generation will be the first in 200 years to have shorter life-spans than their parents, NFL Network today kicked off the second year of Keep Gym in School at PS/IS 126 Manhattan Academy of Technology on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. As part of the league’s NFL PLAY 60 youth health and fitness campaign, Keep Gym in School is NFL Network’s comprehensive national program to boost fitness and Physical Education in America’s middle schools.

“It’s more important than ever to give every student the opportunity to participate in quality physical education,” said Dena Kaplan, Senior Vice President of Marketing for NFL Network. “NFL Network is dedicated to the long-term success of physical education. That’s why we are expanding the reach of our successful Keep Gym in School program to help more kids have access to physical activity in school.”

In the 2009-2010 school-year, NFL Network is expanding its reach and will work directly with more than 150 schools across the country — more than double the number of schools it served in the inaugural year of the program — through school adoptions, grants, and in-school fitness programs. In partnership with the New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots and Chicago Bears, Keep Gym in School will refurbish Physical Education programs and host NFL minicamps at four select middle schools. In addition, NFL Network is inviting the public to nominate their local middle schools for one of ten $1,000 Keep Gym in School grants at www.keepgyminschool.com; and is engaging middle school students from across the country in the NFL Network In-School Fitness Program.

NFL Network is expanding its Keep Gym in School efforts in response to the latest childhood obesity statistics. Nationwide, childhood obesity has more than tripled since 1980. According to a new study released in 2009 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Trust for America’s Health (TAH), the percentage of obese and overweight children is at or above 30% in 30 U.S. states.

At the same time, schools have cut back on Physical Education requirements leaving children less active during the school day than they were in previous years. A joint study by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) found that the percentage of students who attend daily PE dropped from 42% in 1991 to 28% in 2003. The same experts found that fewer than 8% of U.S. middle schools provide daily physical education for the entire school year.

(The announcement continues at http://news.prnewswire.com/ViewContent.aspx?ACCT=109&STORY=/www/story/09-22-2009/0005098512&EDATE=)