August 2, 2013

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

KDHE, KSDE train 200-plus educators to help students be more active

TOPEKA, Kan. – Let’s Move! Active Kansas Schools (LMAKS), has trained more than 200 school physical educators to implement comprehensive school physical activity programs as Certified Directors of Physical Activity. These educators represent more than 60 school districts, 10 universities and more than 40 counties across Kansas.
The Let’s Move! Active Schools training was developed by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education based on the mounting body of research that links increased student fitness levels and opportunities for physical activity with greater academic performance. LMAKS is a project funded by the Kansas Health Foundation and coordinated through the Healthy Kansas Schools program with a primary goal of training 200 physical educators in schools across Kansas. This goal was reached on August 1 at a Topeka training held at Washburn University.

LMAKS trainings require a network of dedicated LMAKS trainers and mentors, physical education teachers willing to create action plans on specific strategies and the support of school administrators. “The ideas, resources and support provided through the trainings help these teachers successfully implement creative and exciting strategies to increase physical activity before, during and after the school day,” said Rhonda Holt, LMAKS Project Director and Governor’s Council on Fitness Vice Chair.

LMAKS emphasizes five components: physical education, physical activity during school, physical activity before and after school, family and community involvement, and staff involvement.  Example strategies implemented by the certified physical activity directors include the following:

Holt said she hopes that in a few years Kansans will see a complete shift in the school culture when it comes to physical activity. “We want physical activity before, during and after school to be the norm, not the exception,” she said. 

Healthy Kansas Schools is a partnership between the Kansas State Department of Education and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to promote healthy school environments that help students develop skills for lifelong physical activity and good nutrition. The Kansas Health Foundation is a private philanthropy dedicated to improving the health of all Kansans.

If you are interested in participating in this training or for more information, please contact Mark Thompson, 785-296-1473, or Jennifer Church, 785-368-7058,