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Increase Physical Activity and Physical Education

Physical activity is bodily movement of any type, while physical education programs (PE) use physical activity to teach children how to establish and sustain an active lifestyle. Both are important for obesity prevention and a student’s healthy development.

  • Physical Education Guidelines: 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.

What PTAs Can Do 

  • Raise funds for new athletic or playground equipment that promotes physical activity.
  • Organize a “clean up our playground” event.
  • Form walking or running clubs for students and families.
  • Use the Active School Fundraiser to support your turkey trots, walkathons or other fun runs to raise money for your school. Your PTA keeps 75% of funds raised online, and 100% of onsite funds raised, such as through registrations or giveaways.

  • Create a walking school bus or bike train—groups of students who walk or bike to school together with parents who rotate supervision duties.
  • Organize a Safe Routes to School program to create a safer environment for children to walk and bike to and from school.
  • Partner with local fitness organizations to provide active afterschool activities, such as Family Fitness Nights, in your school’s facility.
  • Give parents info about community physical activity resources (such as programs at the local YMCA).

Learn More

  • Fire Up Your Feet: National PTA initiative encouraging schools, students and families in select states to walk more to and from school—and in daily life—while keeping track of their steps

  • Active School Fundraising: Fundraise for your PTA through walks, runs and other fun physical activity challenges. There is no startup fee or selection process.  Your PTA keeps 75% of funds raised online, and 100% of onsite funds raised, such as through registrations or giveaways.
  • Active Schools. Free resources and training to help schools increase students’ physical activity before, during and after class.
  • Presidential Youth Fitness Program (President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition). A comprehensive, school-based program that promotes health and regular physical activity for America’s youth.
  • Online Training Modules (KaBOOM!). On-demand training modules on topics such as how to build a new playspace in your community or how to become an advocate for play.