The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


Some Schools Getting Kids Pumped Up for PE

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Thursday, Apr 16, 2009

For those of us who grew up playing badminton and bocce ball, and climbing the rope during PE class, this is almost unimaginable. Skateboarding in PE class?!? When did PE become so cool? When teachers realized that kids are more likely to remain active if they are exposed to an activity they enjoy and can do at home!

In 2005, Colorado-based Skate Pass developed and piloted a skateboarding curriculum designed to engage students who may not be interested in the organized sports traditionally taught in schools. The curriculum teaches safety skills, and participating schools are required to purchase helmets, wrist guards, elbow pads and knee pads. In addition, teachers lead lessons on skate etiquette and teach students basic skateboarding tricks.

Although the Skate Pass program has successfully encouraged students to be more active, it may be cost prohibitive for some schools. For example, Hayes Elementary School in Fridley, Minnesota spent about $4,500 this year to purchase enough skateboards and equipment for 30 students. To help schools overcome the high implementation costs, Skate Pass is working to match schools with grant programs that will help offset costs.

The idea is great. Encourage kids (and adults) to find physical activities they enjoy and want to do. Whether it's dancing, rock climbing, or hopscotch, if it's getting your heart rate up and causing an increased rate of breathing, it counts!

Which physical activities do you find fun?