(Newark, DE.) This morning, fourth grade students from Brader Elementary School demonstrated the six components of the Fitnessgram, a comprehensive fitness assessment used to measure the physical well being of students. This assessment, created more than 20 years ago by the Cooper Institute of Dallas, Texas, is being piloted among 19 public schools and all fourth graders statewide.
“It's great to see these students engaging in physical activity in this setting,” said Lieutenant Governor John Carney, Jr. “Schools like Brader Elementary make it fun so that the students enjoy it which we hope leads to a lifetime of physical activity and improved health.”
The components of the Fitnessgram include aerobic capacity; muscle strength, endurance and flexibility. Aerobic capacity includes a student’s ability to do certain activities such as running or cycling. Muscle strength, endurance and flexibility entails abdominal sit ups, trunk extensions, push ups and sit and reach. A Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to determine if a person is at a healthy weight for his or her height and age and is based upon the relative proportion of fat and lean tissue in the body.
Last year, House Bill 372 was passed requiring each school district and charter school to assess the physical condition of each student at least once in grades K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 with results to be provided to parents, guardians or relative caregivers. House Bill 471 created a pilot program to determine the best practices and assessment that could be implemented in schools statewide for physical education/physical activity. The Fitnessgram was chosen by the Department of Education as the assessment tool for determining the physical fitness of each student.Before the end of this school year, parents of students in all 19 pilot schools will receive a Fitnessgram “Report for Parents” which will identify their child’s physical activity results in the six components. Included in the report will be recommendations which can help each student improve their physical well being.
“The Fitnessgram is an individual assessment for each child,” said Deputy Secretary of Education Nancy Wilson, Ph.D. “Proclaimed by the National Association of Sports and Physical Education as the best test to measure physical fitness, we chose this assessment so parents could see a more detailed analysis of their child’s fitness and to use the recommendations provided to improve or maintain their child’s health.”
Debbie I. Chang, Senior Vice President and Executive Director for Nemours Health and Prevention Services agreed. “Nemours advocated for the passage of House Bills 372 and 471 and is pleased to support the informational needs of parents who are getting the Fitnessgram and BMI reports.” Added Chang, “Only by working together – and by that I mean schools, child care, primary care and communities – can we make Delaware’s children the healthiest in the nation.”
Other speakers at today’s Fitnessgram event included Becky King, president of the Delaware School Nurses Association and Garrett Lydic, physical education teacher at North Laurel Elementary School and 2006 State Teacher of the Year.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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