Saturday, March 7, 2009

An Interview with Richard Simmons about His Campaign for P.E. in Schools

"Kids Aren't Well-Rounded; They're Just...Rounded"

Posted: 06 Mar 2009 04:00 AM PST

First published March 27, 2008

Richard told me about his advocacy for the FIT Kids Act, which would amend No Child Left Behind to require states, districts and schools to include the amount and quality of P.E. among the "multiple measures" by which schools are judged.

He makes no secret of his impatience with the current presidential contest, characterizing it as a political circus that drowns out calls to address the real crisis in children's health and fitness.

His own ideas for reform:

  • Carve out real time in school for physical activity. The FIT Kids Act sets a goal of 150 minutes/week in elementary school and 225 minutes/week in high school.
  • Enlist Certified Aerobic instructors to help P.E. teachers offer excellent physical education.
  • Ensure that P.E. classes include warm up, cardio, strength training and stretching. Just hitting a ball or running around a field won't cut it anymore.
  • Get kids moving to the music they love.

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