November 7, 2016
Dear Future President,
Physical Education should be a national school requirement to give students the opportunity to experience different sports, engage with others in a non-classroom setting and decrease high rates of childhood obesity. P.E is the basis of all sports knowledge and is a great way for kids to have fun while getting active.
Giving students the chance to try all kinds of new sports and find new strengths within themselves can happen in a physical education class. Sports nowadays can cost at least a couple of hundred dollars. Not all families can afford for the child or children to try up to six different sports. Research shows most P.E classes teach around ten different sports and activities. This gives students the ability to find out what sport they love and might want to pursue with no need to waste money through expensive programs.
A physical education class is not your typical classroom. A major part in elementary athletic classes is teaching team building skills and to work with others. For most, it is not all about the sports the students are learning, but the lesson they are taking away from playing and playing with their teammates. At North Laurel Elementary School, P.E teacher Garrett Lydic says, “we stress the quality of life more than anything else”. Teachers want their students to grow in sports knowledge, but they also teach the life lessons students will carry forever.
The obesity rate in children from the 3rd-6th grade has more than tripled in the last thirty years. 17% of Americans 6-19 are overweight. 65% of Americans twenty years of age and up are obese. The problem starts at a very young age and the U.S needs to take extreme measures to drop obesity rates. The state of Delaware is changing their statewide curriculum in hopes of decreasing their children’s obesity levels. Not only are they adding more fitness related activities, they are also emphasizing the importance of lifelong exercise and healthy eating. John Ray, the state’s physical education specialists, says, “we want students learning fitness for life”.
Some opposing views may make some reasonable claims against the importance of physical education. One point made against physical education classes is that it takes time away from high level academics. I know as an athlete and a sports fanatic, I enjoy getting that break from a high level class to be able to play a sport I love and get active. Having A.P classes and honors classes back to back can be quite stressful. Having a physical education class is a way to relieve some stress and make school more enjoyable. A concern that stems from high level athletes participating in a P.E class is the risk of injury being involved with inexperienced students while playing sports. However, a P.E teacher is required to teach proper techniques and rules to all students before starting any activity.
With the desperate need to decrease obesity, engage in a simple stress reliever for everyday life, and have the opportunity to build new relationships with different students, a physical education class is the best solution and is much needed in all schools across the United States. I personally valued my physical education teachers and they gave me so much joy in learning new sports and meeting different students. I want all students to be given the ability to make such great connections like I did and the opportunity to learn new things you wouldn’t learn in a traditional classroom.
Kepner, Alison. "Delaware School Athletics Incorporate Extreme Sports to Fight Obesity." Extreme Sports, edited by Janel D. Ginn, Greenhaven Press, 2008. At Issue. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/ViewpointsDetailsPage/ViewpointsDetailsWindow?disableHighlighting=false&displayGroupName=Viewpoints&currPage=&scanId=&query=&prodId=OVIC&search_within_results=&p=OVIC&mode=view&catId=&limiter=&display-query=&displayGroups=&contentModules=&action=e&sortBy=&documentId=GALE%7CEJ3010486206&windowstate=normal&activityType=&failOverType=&commentary=&source=Bookmark&u=tel_k_farrhs&jsid=bfa05a2b4fd20add0d0ebd4946f3eaa4. Accessed 7 Nov. 2016. Originally published as "Gym Classes Knock Out Tradition," News Journal/Delaware Online, 2 Feb. 2007.
Boyce, B. Ann, and Murray Mitchell. "Physical Education." Encyclopedia of Education, edited by James W. Guthrie, 2nd ed., vol. 5, Macmillan Reference USA, 2002, pp. 1886-1894. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/ReferenceDetailsPage/ReferenceDetailsWindow?disableHighlighting=false&displayGroupName=Reference&currPage=&scanId=&query=&prodId=OVIC&search_within_results=&p=OVIC&mode=view&catId=&limiter=&display-query=&displayGroups=&contentModules=&action=e&sortBy=&documentId=GALE%7CCX3403200490&windowstate=normal&activityType=&failOverType=&commentary=&source=Bookmark&u=tel_k_farrhs&jsid=82ea55068ea04c542a09719650c2ccf7. Accessed 7 Nov. 2016.
"Profile: Changes within schools' physical education programs." Morning Edition, 13 June 2001. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/NewsDetailsPage/NewsDetailsWindow?disableHighlighting=false&displayGroupName=News&currPage=&scanId=&query=&prodId=OVIC&search_within_results=&p=OVIC&mode=view&catId=&limiter=&display-query=&displayGroups=&contentModules=&action=e&sortBy=&documentId=GALE%7CA166043301&windowstate=normal&activityType=&failOverType=&commentary=&source=Bookmark&u=tel_k_farrhs&jsid=4edba8873d0b483e4c606fff91fb9722. Accessed 7 Nov. 2016.