Teach MAM: An Exciting Partnership to Strengthen Arts Education Across Louisiana
A Partnership Built for Success
First Lady’s Teach MAM Initiative &
Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness
by Keyre’ Bradford
With great pleasure, the First Lady’s Teach MAM Initiative has partnered with D. Rudy Macklin, Executive Director with the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness. As you know, the Teach MAM Initiative focuses on the importance of teaching movement, art, and music to students, encouraging them to learn in many ways. While focusing on the movement aspect of the three disciplines is the main focus of this partnership, this collaboration will increase the knowledge and understanding of the importance of quality physical education in schools lead by certified health and physical educators with allocated educational reserved daily minutes.
It only makes sense that these two entities would collaborate when the focus of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness is:
- Develop, foster, and coordinate services and programs of physical fitness and sports for the people of Louisiana
- Sponsor physical fitness and sports workshops, clinics, conferences, and other similar activities; give recognition to outstanding developments and achievements in, and contributions to, physical fitness and sports
- Stimulate physical fitness research
- Collect and disseminate physical fitness and sports information and initiate advertising campaigns promoting physical fitness and sports
- Encourage local governments and communities to develop local physical fitness programs and amateur athletic competitions
- Develop programs to promote personal health and physical fitness in cooperation with medical, dental, and other similar professional societies
- Enlist the support of individuals, civic groups, amateur and professional sports associations, and other organizations to promote and improve physical fitness and sports programs
This partnership will foster support and encouragement in the area of physical education and exercise throughout the State. Given the potential for increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases in children due to prolonged physical inactivity (https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-09429-3), this partnership is crucial in combating the adverse effects of the pandemic. With the surge of medical illnesses increasing from the recent global pandemic due to the lack of physical education, movement, physical activity, and exercise, it is dire to find ways to preserve physical education in our schools. The lasting effects of lost physical education and physical activity within the schools may permanently affect our children that we are not willing to sacrifice. We are promoting all the positive aspects that physical education will produce if given a chance to succeed.
ShapeAmerica states that school physical education programs offer the best opportunity to provide physical activity to all children and teach them the skills and knowledge needed to establish and sustain an active lifestyle. Physical education teachers assess student knowledge, motor, and social skills and provide instruction in a safe, supportive environment. SHAPE America recommends that schools provide 150 minutes of instructional physical education for elementary school children and 225 minutes for middle and high school students per week for the entire school year. Based on the learning sequence, physical education should not be compared to or confused with other physical activity experiences such as recess, intramurals, or recreational endeavors. (https://www.shapeamerica.org/)
A quality physical education program provides learning opportunities, appropriate instruction, meaningful and challenging content for all children and should include these essential components (https://www.shapeamerica.org/).
The Positive Effects of Quality Physical Education in Schools according to PHITworld.org:
- Improved physical fitness
- Skill and motor skills development
- Provides regular, healthful physical activity
- Teaches self-discipline
- Facilitates the development of student responsibility for health and fitness
- Influence moral development, leadership, cooperate with others
- Stress reduction – an outlet for releasing tension and anxiety
- Strengthened peer relationships
- Physical education can improve self-confidence and self-esteem
- Respect – P.E. helps you respect your body, classmates, and teammates
- Experience in setting goals
- Improved academics – The significant bonus benefit!
With all the benefits of physical education, it is vital to promote the need for quality physical education programs throughout the school districts in Louisiana. We cannot afford to let our students down when it comes to their physical health. To avoid permanent changes in behavior extending beyond the duration of the COVID-19 closures, we must take measures (https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/) to ensure our students are receiving the best possible chances of success. This success happens by providing students with the best quality physical education programs with certified health and physical educators with district-mandated P.E. minutes.
Dunton, G.F., Do, B. & Wang, S.D. Early effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on physical activity and sedentary behavior in children living in the U.S. BMC Public Health 20, 1351 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-09429-3
Is it Physical Education or Physical Activity? https://www.shapeamerica.org/
The Tremendous Benefits of Physical Education in Schools: