Fostering the belief physical fitness is essential to a well-rounded education, over $15,000 in materials has been donated to Bullitt County Public Schools.
PE educators from each facility picked up their Fitnessgram Testing Kits during September’s Teacher Planning Day.
North Bullitt High School PE and Health Educator Dennis Minnis explained that the district’s coordinated school health team under the direction of Jamie Sparks at the Kentucky Department of Education was selected to attend a training through the Presidential Youth Fitness Program.
“We were awarded a $30,000 grant to help schools and districts implement Fitnessgram,” he said. “We chose to buy equipment kits with our money to help schools and districts offset the cost of the equipment.”
A Fitnessgram Kit consists of a sit and reach box, push up mat, posters, Fitnessgram manual plus equipment code for the software, 7 curl-up strips, Fitnessgram cue cards, height chart and scale with BMI measuring device included.
Minnis said the only difference between grade levels is the width of the curl-up strips. Elementary schools are smaller.
The value of each Fitnessgram Kit is $511.
Minnis plans to use North Bullitt’s Fitnessgram Kit to test all freshmen.
“This information will then be used to help students to be able to set both health and fitness goals,” Minnis said. “We are excited to be able to test all students of all ability levels.”
Minnis emphasized studies show that students who are highly fit score better than their non-fit counterparts.
“But, more importantly, studies show that students who learn through the platform of movement are better suited to learn in the academic realm thus showing the value of physical education in a student’s total education,” he said. “I would also say that schools who make time for daily physical education will see higher test scores than schools who only offer PE once per week. Why? The body responds better to academic concepts when given the opportunity to move. It is a beautiful thing to see kids moving in both game and skill time as the brain is being wired for other types of learning that it faces throughout the learning day.”
Minnis said quality physical education improves physical fitness, develops motor skills, provides a safe place for movement, teaches self-discipline and gives our students a safe place to develop the mindset to be healthy and fit for a lifetime.
“Physical education helps students develop social skills as they get the opportunity to communicate with their peers which can translate into lifelong friendships,” he said.