Following the Sept. 19, 2006 Institute of Medicine report that their documents the failure of our nation to address the childhood obesity crisis, I would like to talk about two programs that have actually been proven to work under real life conditions.
PE4Life in Naperville, IL
First, PE4Life, is well organized, well funded and scientifically confirmed the project as a model program flourishes in Madison high school, SCHOOL DISTRICT # 203 in Naperville, IL. PE4Life in Naperville headed up by Phil Lawler, a former physical teacher and coach who now serves as Secretary PE4Life Academy, which is associated with a project that is expected to show interest in physical teachers and educational managers from around the nation how PE4Life program works Madison JUNIOR HIGH is .
Only three percent of our kids are Obese …
In SCHOOL DISTRICT # 203 only 3% of students are obese. Compare that to the 15% nationwide, and you will see why decision makers from around the nation are flocking to Lawler’s PE4Life Academy to find out what he knows that the rest do not know. “We have trained people from forty different states and five foreign countries,” noted Lawler. “I would say it’s a pretty good indication of the interest rates in this program, would not you agree?”
PE4Life can boast of sponsors including companies such as Reebok, Asics, Gatorade, Quaker Oats, Life Fitness and Dick Sporting Goods just to name a few. And anyone visiting the Madison Junior High will be blown away by the advanced training equipment Lawler has attracted to this program. “In all honesty, there are NFL, NBA, and MLB coach who would be green with envy if they saw the equipment that we have,” Lawler said. “In a very real sense Madison Junior High is a Mecca for fitness kid in America today.”
For example …
For example, when MJH students hustle at the end of gym class, it is common to see every student in the class set Polaris his or her Heart Rate Monitor back to the appropriate place before heading off to the showers. “Polaris has graciously provided us with enough heart rate monitors to reach every student in the class. And with the help of these tools, our children learn all about your cardiovascular system, and how practice effects,” Lawler said.
Each student works with such equipment several times a week and they learn about fitness in a very hands-on way. “When they graduate from high school, they have all the information needed to stay fit for the rest of their lives,” said Lawler.
The PE4Life curriculum takes students beyond their cardio fitness, venturing into strength development, agility, quickness and flexibility. So it’s not just high tech, 21st century that distinguish this unique program beyond almost anything else in the nation. It is a leading comprehensiveness that really makes it stand out.
The PE4Life Academy
There are good reasons for physical education teachers and administrators traveled long distances to see, hear, taste, smell, and touch it Lawler Students are doing. And hands-on experience of information is called PE4Life Academy.
“I get calls from some of the top professors in some of America’s top colleges and universities who come from various parts of the nation to see what our kids are doing differently here DISTRICT # 203. We have worked hard for more than a decade to bring this program to life, and I think it is fair to say that our entire community takes pride in what our children have achieved. It is one of the things that distinguishes Naperville and makes it such a great place to live. “
much more than just Childhood Obesity Prevention Strategy
I realized PE4Life is much more than just a childhood obesity prevention. It is fully equipped, fully funded, comprehensive fitness tasks kid whose most eloquent claim to fame is that it’s been tested under real world conditions, and it has proved successful. And in a world full of hand winding theoretically speaking, projects that actually work tends to stand out. For detailed information just Google PE4Life and you will get all the information you need.
Operation Pull Your Own Weight
On the other side of the tracks (literally on the other side of the Mississippi River) sits second childhood obesity prevention program that is also been proven to work. It’s called Operation Pull Your Own Weight (OPYOW), and in almost every conceivable way OPYOW is the complete opposite PE4Life NAPERVILLE is.
One part of At Risk Grant
OPYOW was developed in Jefferson Elementary School from 1990-1994 *, and was originally underwritten by the state of Iowa at risk Grant aimed at improving self-esteem and related performances of the kids who attended Jefferson School.
“OPYOW the physical part of self-esteem recipe that we were asked to develop,” said the former Jefferson School Principal Henry REAMS. “It was based on the observation old gym teacher that children can not pull ups can not be obese. The more Jefferson students learn to pull their own weight, the less we would have to do battle with obesity and related issues. And as we all know, obesity reduces kids self-esteem down faster than anything you can think of, “said REAMS.
Funding OPYOW backup Change
Although the concentration of falling wages and related expenses for the four teachers, there was almost no budget for fitness equipment, and certainly not corporate sponsors. So REAMS and businesses drove the local Farm and Fleet, including pennies from spare change drawer they funded all the material needed to build sixteen Height adjustable pull up bars (one for each K-2 classroom at school), the only equipment necessary to implement the program.
They asked the Industrial Arts class at Davenport CENTRAL HIGH cut pipe and attached to the correct length and district maintenance department is putting a height adjustable pull up bar in each (sixteen) K-2 classroom school. “I know that we spent less than $ 200 dollars to outfit all of this element of the grant. You might say we funded OPYOW on a shoestring, begging, borrowing and stealing everything we needed to start. But if you see the result, it is hard to be intact with what our students come, “said REAMS.
What were the results?
And what were the results OPYOW? During the four year period from fall 1990 through spring of 1994, hundreds of Jefferson School students not only developed the ability to do pull ups, but they also learned to look forward to their chance to get on the pull-up bar and getting stronger day after day, week week, and month after month. “I’ve known a lot of kids who want to be bad, but I’ve never met one who wants to be sick in any way. And OPYOW taught students how to get strong in all kinds of ways,” REAMS said.
What else Did they learn?
What else did the Jefferson kids learn OPYOW you ask? “Our kids learned to get a chance, they could face a difficult task by working on it regularly, making thin slices of progress over a period of time, and eventually they learned to expect success,” REAMS said.
Jefferson students also learned that there are six points that increase your strength on the pull up bar, including …
o regular work
o eat right
or get enough rest
o avoid tobacco
o avoid alcohol
o avoid drugs
“Interestingly, when these same six strength building rules applied researchers, they make children stronger in reading, writing and mathematics, too, “REAMS with.
No one can do it for you
One other thing Jefferson students learn to work to pull up bar was that no one else can do the work for you. “The pull-up bar our students learned that they had to take responsibility for getting their own their work done, eat right, get their rest, and avoid tobacco, alcohol and drugs. If they do not do these things, reducing the pool knew the denied public success that all the kids crave. It was a real eye opener, “REAMS said,” it may be the single most important thing our children learn OPYOW. “
What are the shortcomings the OPYOW? “The biggest down in the program was that it was based on anecdotal observation that children can not pull ups can not be obese,” said REAMS. “In other words, to my knowledge no one has ever compared BMI of kids who can not pull ups against kids who can not not pull ups in order to scientifically prove that they are legitimate antidote to obesity. Likewise, no one has always tried to prove that the nose is located on your face either. Maybe both of intuitively obvious to attract scholars, “he added.
Another criticism OPYOW claimed that, according to focus on one activity alone, it lacked the grip that characterizes all well-conceived programs. “But the people who made those claims not to see that this program never claimed to be exhaustive. Only her demand was that there is a functional antibodies against obesity … nothing more, nothing less. If you can not pull ups, you can” T obese. Similarly, to the extent that it reduces obesity successfully, it also reduces the workload on the heart participant 24/7, “said REAMS.
What Jefferson School students have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, that given the right opportunities , almost all kids can learn to perform pull ups. “And to the extent that intuition old coach is true, Operation Pull your weight is the simplest and most effective obesity prevention strategy anyone ever thought,” REAMS smiling.
How was lacking PE4Life? This program has all the scientific evidence that anyone could ever want. They have money. They have the equipment. They have a nice neighborhood and well-funded schools. They have a comprehensive 21st century skills a strategy that successfully combats obesity. And school districts who have enough money should definitely check it out and see if PE4Life is the answer to their problems.
Lawler suggests that the stakes are now so high that we can no longer allowed to use the excuse that school districts can not afford a realistic obesity prevention program. Similarly, 45 million people in America today who are unable to afford health insurance, and there is little good to tell them that their lack of money is no excuse. They still can not afford health insurance no matter how you spin it. School districts are something different?
Equipment Dependency VS Free Agency
On the other hand, even if the school district is overflowing with money that PE4Life orientation tends to produce students who are dependent on high tech devices that the program is built around. In other words, without access to expensive, high tech, 21st century fitness equipment, PE4Life has little to offer.
However OPYOW creates students who are dependent on ten dollars a doorway pull up bar, or next tree limbs. You could call it Tom and Huck ability. Declared objective is what they call free agency (no dependency), and they claim that it is the mother’s antibodies to the nature of childhood obesity. Now someone suddenly feeling a strong desire to bananas?
similarities between PE4Life and OPYOW are …
o Both have tackled the real (as opposed to academic) conditions
o Both put responsibility for success in the hands of student
o Both were developed by the guys from Iowa
o Both are lifelong lessons tucked between the lines
Differences between PE4Life and OPYOW
o PE4Life was based on experience, OPYOW was based on common sense
o PE4Life requires enough money, OPYOW can be implemented on a shoestring
o PE4Life requires lots of equipment, OPYOW requires a height adjustable pull up bar
o PE4Life requires extensive training, OPYOW be taught by all parents volunteer
o PE4Life requires lots of space for equipment, OPYOW does not need extra space
o PE4Life requires a few hours a week, OPYOW requires five minutes per week
o PE4Life urges equipment dependency, OPYOW encourages free agency
o PE4Life requires “professional setting,” OPYOW can easily be taught at home
o strength PE4Life is its comprehensiveness, concentration OPYOW is its simplicity
o PE4Life more than obesity prevention, but OPYOW it all enchilada
o PE4Life is alive and kicking, OPYOW ran out of funding for more than a decade ago
The Choice is Yours
So if you have enough money, space, equipment, and time to train the trainers, then your PE4Life can be a viable alternative. On the other hand, if the school is short of money, teachers are already too much to the gills, and you have almost no extra time in the curriculum, the simplicity of operation Pull your weight may be your cup of tea.
* Despite four years of well-documented success, OPYOW has been inactive since the subsidy was in the spring of 1994. But with childhood obesity running rampant, it is a movement up to breathe life back into this simple, cost effective, tried and true obesity prevention strategy that has been proven to work. They are in the market for business sponsors.