May 28, 2014 –As a part of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN) recognizes Georgia as the first state to fully implement the Presidential Youth Fitness Program (PYFP). Fueled by the success of the Georgia SHAPE initiative, the state’s efforts to support student physical fitness exemplifies the model of fitness education encouraged by the President’s Council.
Under the leadership of Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, and State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge, Georgia SHAPE works to improve the health of its students by offering assistance and opportunity to achieve a greater level of overall fitness.
“We commend Georgia officials for their leadership and commitment to helping Georgia students lead an active lifestyle,” said PCFSN Executive Director Shellie Pfohl. “The Presidential Youth Fitness Program and the opportunities provided through initiatives like Georgia SHAPE offer our nation’s young people the early, positive experiences they need to adopt healthy habits that can last a lifetime,” added Pfohl.
“Parents of Georgia’s public school students can rest assured their children are learning about their personal health and fitness from physical educators trained to deliver a quality fitness assessment and education experience,” said Therese McGuire, Georgia Department of Education’s health and physical education program specialist.
The Presidential Youth Fitness Program is the result of a partnership between PCFSN; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Foundation on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition; Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; Amateur Athletic Union and The Cooper Institute® as a model for physical educators and parents to help students set personal fitness goals and make strides toward better health before, during and after the school day.
Georgia SHAPE provides schools with the FITNESSGRAM® assessment, the assessment utilized by the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, comprehensive training for educators and the opportunity for schools to be recognized for their efforts. Human Kinetics is the publisher of FITNESSGRAM and works closely with the Cooper Institute, developers of FITNESSGRAM, to implement the program in schools across the country.
As the inaugural Presidential sponsor of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program through the National Foundation on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, the General Mills Foundation provided recognition to Georgia public school students who meet the award criteria. In 2012-2013, nearly 221,000 or 19 percent of students in grades 4-12 met the criteria to receive an award.
The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN) educates, engages and empowers all Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and good nutrition. PCFSN is a committee of volunteer citizens who advise the President through the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Through its partnerships with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, PCFSN promotes programs and initiatives that motivate people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to lead active, healthy lifestyles. For more information about the Council, visit www.fitness.gov and follow us on Twitter @FitnessGov.
About Presidential Youth Fitness Program
Launched in September 2012, the mission of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program is to provide a model for fitness education that includes use of a health-related fitness assessment, as well as educational and motivational tools, to support teachers and empower students to adopt an active lifestyle. For more information about the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, visit: www.pyfp.org.
About Georgia SHAPE
Georgia SHAPE is an exciting initiative to improve Georgia’s future, beginning with our state’s most vital and important asset: our young people. We know all children can benefit from knowledge of their current health-related fitness levels, along with a capacity to develop and implement strategies for personal improvement.
Under the leadership of Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, Georgia SHAPE is a network of partners, agencies and athletic teams—including the Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta Braves, the Georgia Department of Public Health, and the Georgia Department of Education—all committed to improving the health of our young people by offering assistance and opportunity to achieve a greater level of overall fitness.
Georgia SHAPE begins with a basic, benchmark measurement of fitness among our students called FITNESSGRAM. The FITNESSGRAM tool used for SHAPE’s annual standardized fitness assessment evaluates five different parts of health-related fitness, including aerobic capacity, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and body composition using objective criteria. It also generates reports providing valuable individual, school, and state-level data to empower parents, schools, and the community to best access the current health needs for children in Georgia. The report is delivered confidentially to families and aggregate results are reported to create a true “snapshot” and highlight areas for improvement.
Georgia SHAPE takes the next step in offering resources to learn more about FITNESSGRAM, healthy recipes and a first-of-its-kind Fitness at Your Fingertips app to locate local health and fitness activities throughout Georgia.
When schools participate in the SHAPE initiative, their physical education teachers receive professional training about testing protocol and data entry, and they will be supplied with the equipment, software and technical support needed to conduct the assessment in their school. Participants will also be eligible for the governor’s award and recognition program, which will provide exciting incentives for teachers and schools.