Changes afoot in state’s PE programs

090611-N-3271W-003 CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (June 11, 2009) Local area children test their fitness skills during a Junior Seal Fitness Challenge at Warner Park organized by the Navy and the Chattanooga Parks and Recreation Department. The event is in conjunction with Chattanooga Navy Week, one of 21 Navy Weeks planned across America in 2009. Navy Weeks are designed to show Americans the investment they have made in their Navy and increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence. (U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Gary Ward/Released)

Illinois kids may see some new lessons in gym class in 2016.

The Illinois State Board of Education is once again pushing the new lessons in Enhanced P.E.

Jana Simon, program manager for the Illinois Public Health Initiative, said a number of schools have already made the switch. The rest of the schools eventually will have to change as well. She hosted a summer webinar to encourage the switch.

“Enhanced P.E. is really about setting individual health and improvement goals,” Simon said of the new lesson plans. “Every student, no matter if they’re a star athlete or a student struggling to walk or run a mile, they’ll be able to set their own fitness goals.”

Fitness is a word that is often used when talking about Enhanced P.E. Simon said the old gym classes that parents remember are on the way out.

“Traditional P.E. classes may have taught competitive sports skills,” Simon said. “The focus now is on enhancing fitness. Enhancing health.”

That means less football or basketball during gym and more cardio, Pilates or even dance.

Simon said Enhanced P.E. doesn’t cost more than traditional P.E. But she said the benefits are multifold.

Simon add the Centers for Disease Control and the Illinois State Board of Education are backing Enhanced P.E. because it’s an evidence-based model.

–Illinois News Network

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