LSU professor helping schools across La. revamp PE programs

LSU professor helping schools across La. revamp PE programs

An LSU professor is working with physical education teachers across Louisiana to help the state fight its health and obesity ranking, the university announced Tuesday.

LSU kinesiology adjunct instructor Kathy Hill leads the Louisiana Physical Education Standards Committee.

Kathy Hill and a team of educators from around the state to revamp the standards for K-12 public school physical education programs. Hill is an adjunct instructor Kathy Hill leads the Louisiana Physical Education Standards Committee.

The committee has trained more than 1,000 teachers through workshops held in 13 parishes.

"Our aim is to teach young people about being fit individuals," Hill said in a statement.  "We're not talking about marathon runners, but someone who can go through the daily routine of their lives without being exhausted, overweight or having high blood pressure."

The committee starts with kindergarten teachers by instructing them how to teach their students responsible and realistic fitness goals. For elementary and middle school, the committee recommends students work together in groups to learn the role of coach, player, and trainer through physical activities.

At the high school level, Hill and her team recommend teachers set aside one semester of PE for health education, so students learn about heart health, body mass index and other concepts that will help them monitor their health throughout their lives. The committee's new standards also recommend two semesters of lifetime sports, like tennis and golf that students can play at any age.

"Despite an ambitious timeline and volume of work to be accomplished, we were able to organize an excellent group of physical education professionals to review and revise the standards,"  Michael Comeaux, who leads the Healthy Communities Section for the state's Department of Education said in a statement.

Hill and her team are making a positive impact in the physical education world, according to Comeaux.

"Their passion, knowledge, experience, and dedication enabled us to assemble some strong workgroups to revise the standards at all grade levels," he said.

The Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports has teamed up with the Louisiana Department of Education; Louisiana Association for Health Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; the Department of Health and Hospitals; and the Alliance for a Healthier Education to develop a comprehensive physical education standards document to help PE teachers in Louisiana promote wellness and lifelong fitness from kindergarten through high school.

"When we talk to the teachers, we tell them, 'We aren't here to tell you how to do your job, but to help you create new ways to help teach children how to set realistic goals even at Kindergarten so they can take responsibility for their own physicality throughout their lifespan," he said.

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