To help get them excited about physical fitness, students at Perez Elementary spent Thursday’s PE class with several elite athletes and a host of Chicago team mascots.
A new partnership between CPS and World Sport Chicago (WSC) brought mascots from the Chicago Blackhawks, the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, Northwestern University and the Chicago Sky, along with several college athletes and NHL Hall of Famer Dennis Savard to Perez for a discussion on the importance of Physical Education. The goal was to increase enthusiasm around the District’s 30+20+10 Program, which is now providing students at 30+ elementary schools with at least one hour of physical activity per day.
“The 30+20+10 pilot program supports our goal to help students develop the knowledge, skills and confidence for both academic success and lifelong health,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “Our partnership with World Sport Chicago will boost that participation in this great initiative.”
The partnership between CPS and WSC will match more than 20 athletes with schools who are piloting the 30+20+10 program. These elite athletes will talk to students about how Physical Education has enriched their lives and will work with them to strengthen their physical literacy.
“It is outstanding that the collegiate, professional and Olympic athletes of Chicago are committed to supporting the physical and emotional development of the youth of Chicago,” said WSC Executive Director Scott Myers. “Their consistent presence helps these athletes serve as positive and inspiring role models who leave a lasting impact on the students as they prepare for the future.”
At Perez, a 7th-grade PE class listened attentively as former Blackhawks great Dennis Savard explained how Physical Education had been the foundation for his career in professional hockey. They then interacted with all the guest athletes and mascots as they moved among various physical fitness stations in the school gymnasium.
“Their reactions were great, especially to the mascots,” said Andy Pickett, a Physical Education Specialist with the CPS Office of Student Health and Wellness. “Lots of hugs and high fives. And they loved all the hockey equipment the Blackhawks brought.”
The purpose of this event was to show students at Perez, one of the first CPS schools to pilot the 30+20+10 program, that there is a tangible purpose to the District’s emphasis on physical activity in school.
“Events like this show our students the purpose behind the plan,” said Pickett. “Athletes talk to them about how they had PE as kids, and how it was the start of their success on the field or on the court. That makes a real difference in the way students think about the importance of physical activity.”
The 30+20+10 program provides students with 30 minutes of PE, 20 minutes of recess, and 10 minutes of in-class physical activity per day. It will be carefully examined throughout the school year, then modified as needed before being implemented in more elementary schools during SY 2014-15.
”Physical Education leads to many benefits for our children,” said CEO Byrd-Bennett. “Beyond improved health for Chicago’s next generation, research shows a direct correlation between physical activity and brain function. Healthier students are better learners.”