Why parents matter! Yesterday I spoke to future health and physical education teachers at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Most of these students were starry eyed and eager to began their careers. One student, Betsy, a middle aged woman was a little less starry eyed. You see Betsy has a physical education degree and has taught physical education in a Michigan School district for many years. She returned to college to get a health education degree because she lost her job when her school district eliminated physical education class because of budget restraints. As if this story isn’t sad enough the real tragedy is that in this district there is an extremely high obesity rate among students. What a tragedy! This is why parents matter! Teachers are powerless to reverse a decision as devastating as this. I’m am fairly certain that parents in this school district are unaware of the importance of physical education to the physical, social and emotional well-being of students. Not to mention that when kids are physically active, they learn better. Ironically, the topic I spoke to the CMU students about today was the importance of engaging parents on what health and physical education teachers do in the classroom so that parents can speak up when vital programs are cut. Betsy supports the First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign but is frustrated because she is just one voice. Betsy joined Parent Action for Healthy Kids Call to Action so that she can join others to make our voice stronger for change.
**This information has been brought to you by Barb Flis, mother of two and creator of Parent Action For Healthy Kids.