Student Well-Being

National Physical Education and Sport Week Off and Running

By Bryan Toporek — May 01, 2012 2 min read
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Students across the U.S. will be getting away from their desks for a few minutes this week in honor of National Physical Education and Sport Week (NPESW), an initiative of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.

The week, which officially kicks off today, was officially designated by members of the U.S. Senate last week. Like last year, the theme of this week is “Let’s Move in School,” (LMIS) which is the comprehensive school physical-activity program of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

How will schools be celebrating?

Tomorrow at 10 a.m., the West Virginia education department is sponsoring the state’s first “Let’s Moveapalooza West Virginia” event, where an estimated 66,000 students will get out of their seats to perform the Cha-Cha Slide. The state board declared May 2 to be “Let’s Move West Virginia Day,” and state Superintendent Jorea Marple will be joining students at an elementary school in Charleston to participate in the dance.

This isn’t the first time this year that W.Va. students are spontaneously breaking into physical activity. Back in mid-January, roughly 75,000 participated in a “Cupid Shuffle” flash mob, following the release of the state’s physical-activity plan.

The NPESW events aren’t limited to West Virginia, of course. Tomorrow, more than 400 elementary school students in Port Washington, N.Y., and 500 elementary students in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., will be performing cultural dances from around the world in recognition of PACES Day, an initiative from Project ACES.

On Friday, nearly 18,000 students are expected to participate in the 20th annual “Kansas Kids’ Fitness Day”, according to NASPE. And on Sunday, nearly 3,000 community members will come out to Prince William County public schools in Virginia to see what a modern physical education class looks like, with students demonstrating archery, Zumba, and line dancing.

“The goal for the week is to showcase opportunities for school-based physical activity to develop physically educated students who participate in the nationally recommended 60+ minutes of physical activity each day,” said Mary Jo Sariscsany, the president of NASPE, in a statement. “Whether it be a communitywide run, a fitness and fun day for an entire school, or a dance performed by kids across the state, LMIS and NPESW give educators and parents the vehicle to push students to be more physically active, healthier, and well-rounded members of society.”

There’s no word on whether Beyonce will be reprising her role as surprise guest workout partner for one lucky school, as she did last year with a group of New York middle schoolers.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.