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The Fit Kit

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Sue Schiemer from Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania submitted this great idea.  Grades K-8.

Background: Schools around the United States celebrate National Physical Education and Sport Week (May 1-7) in a variety of ways. Some schools read daily announcements on physical activity/fitness/ wellness, promote special t-shirt/uniform days, participate in Sneaker Days, participate in total school workouts such as “All Children Exercise Simultaneously” (ACES), host gym shows, invite special speakers, or host a physical activity workshop for their students. Physical educators have shown that National Physical Education and Sport Week is a great advocacy tool for promoting the importance of quality physical education programs.

At the Memorial and Beaver-Main schools in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania our final National Physical Education and Sport Week activity was designed to promote and encourage students and families to engage in physical activity. Every student in grades K-5 (660) and all faculty and staff at both schools received a FIT KIT. The FIT KITS were designed to: educate students and parents about physical activity, highlight national and state agencies promoting physical activity and wellness, and provide discounts for exploring various forms of physical activity available in our community.

The FIT KIT: included a Certificate of Participation from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), a Certificate of Participation from SPEAK publication, the Bill of Rights for Young Athletes, a Physical Best pencil, the Youthfit brochure “Find Fitness: Follow the Fitness Trail,” an American Cancer Society bookmark, Jump Rope for Heart shoelaces, a free day pass for the Bloomsburg YMCA, discount coupons for the local rollerskating rink and a sporting goods store, and a letter explaining the various agencies and businesses that contributed to the FIT KIT.

Students Need Physical Education! Materials for the kit were generated through a series of phone calls to various agencies and businesses concerned with the wellness of children and families. Contributors were provided with a menu of participation options that included donations of: materials, service in kind, or an opportunity to sign on for next year’s kit. FIT KIT bags were provided from our Parent Co-op’s Santa’s Secret Shop program. The kits were put together by a team of wonderful volunteers including parents, cafeteria staff, teachers/teacher aides/substitute teachers with willing hands and the children in the school (who provided great publicity for the kits). We were able to complete the project without any funding.

Parents Are the Key! To encourage parents to read the contents of the letter, to review the FIT KIT materials with their child, and to gather information regarding their thoughts about the FIT KIT, we included a questionnaire/entry form on the back of the letter. Students who turned in a completed form were automatically entered into the FIT KIT drawing. This year each building had two grand prize drawing recipients who received a Physical Best t-shirt and a “Get Moving America” poster. Based on the positive comments we received from parents, we will continue to develop the FIT KIT idea for our upcoming Physical Education and Sport Week celebration.

Now Is A Great Time to Start! Don’t wait until April to get started on your FIT KIT. The beginning of the school year is a great time to generate excitement for this type of project. Start your new school year with a vision for a National Physical Education and Sport Week celebration that promotes quality physical education and physical activity for all!

As an advocacy tool, the letter highlighting the contributions to the FIT KIT is crucial. Our cover letter was copied on the letterhead of the Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

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