Getting students active isn’t just good for their physical health: studies show that “children who are physically fit absorb and retain new information more effectively than children who are out of shape.” But when budget cuts come, PE is often one of the first things to go. Now the median school PE budget is under $800 per year, and students are less active than ever. We’ve teamed up with the National Fitness Foundation to help teachers get access to the funding they need for physical education and launch the “PE Innovation Challenge”. While funds last, donations to qualifying PE projects on DonorsChoose.org will be doubled. And at the end of the challenge, a panel of judges will choose three projects to win up to $10,000 in additional classroom funding.
The Innovation Challenge will be judged by representatives from Alliance for a Healthier Generation, American Heart Association, Nike, and Target. They are looking for the most creative projects that both align closely with the challenge rubric and incorporate elements from the Presidential Youth Fitness Program Checklist.
“The strength of our country is really no greater than the well-being of our citizens.” - John F. Kennedy
Teachers have already used DonorsChoose.org to fund thousands of creative physical education ideas. Here are a few that might inspire your next project:
- Ms. O’Toole used jump ropes to get her Kindergardeners moving. She quickly saw the impact, saying “it really helps them concentrate on the task at hand during sit down focused learning times.”
- Ms. Charles teaches elementary school in Arizona, and her school doesn’t have a dedicated PE teacher. Classroom teachers take on that responsibility, so she requested a variety of PE basics like foam balls and rope to keep students “active and engaged.”
- Mr. Gentry’s students often came to class without adequate footwear, so he requested shoes to make sure every student could participate in PE. Beyond the health benefits, he say the activity help his students with“gaining confidence and interacting within a group.”
Teachers, do you have an amazing idea for a winning physical education project? Share it in the comments below!