As most of us know, regular exercise is important for our overall health and physical fitness.
When it comes to children, it is especially critical for them to learn and develop positive fitness and nutritional habits before they reach adulthood. This is where great physical education (PE) instruction plays a role, as PE teaches students to be physically active and to set lifelong fitness goals.
Yet, while PE has been recognized as an important academic subject in City schools for years now, about 200 of our schools currently lack the space they need to provide their students with full PE instruction.
As part the City’s new Universal Physical Education initiative, over $385 million in Capital funding will be dedicated towards the development of new PE spaces across the approximately 200 City schools that do not currently have a gymnasium. Over the next several months, the DOE and the SCA will work with individual schools to explore a variety of options for PE space development, with the goal of providing all City schools with designated PE spaces by 2021. These options will include new gymnasiums, renovations for schoolyards, conversions of existing rooms into fitness areas, conversions of auditoriums into “gymatoriums,” and the leasing of space from nearby community-based organizations.
“Every student needs quality physical education to stay healthy and remain focused during the school day,” said Chancellor Carmen Fariña when announcing the initiative. “Not only are we committing to providing all students with PE space, but we are also strengthening physical education curricula with more trained PE instructors and new educational resources. This is part of Equity and Excellence in all our schools and setting students up for success.”
For more information about the Universal Physical Education initiative, check out the City’s official webpage.