It’s all a bunch of alphabet soup in the world of education, and physical education is no exception! As physical educators, we are used to explaining the difference between PE and PA. Both are important, and both support the other. It is in PE where students learn how to move efficiently and effectively, how their bodies respond to training, how to perform a variety of games and activities, and how to treat others as they play cooperatively and competitively. However, with PE classes being reduced in time and frequency due to funding and scheduling issues, kids need additional time to practice the skills they are learning in PE and to pursue those activities they come to love. Whether it is during recess, with a school or community team, or after school with friends and families, it is this additional activity time that generalizes a student’s learning from school to lifelong recreational pursuits.

Physical activity has been getting a lot of attention lately, with legislation designed to encourage schools to provide nearly an hour of activity a day for students, and Alaska’s Healthy Futures program rewarding kids for tracking their daily activities, and more and more research demonstrating the connection between active bodies and brain development. I applaud these efforts, and we all need to be active participants to encourage more awareness of the importance of activity, exercise, and play for a healthy, active life.

It is with this in mind that SHAPE Alaska is excited to announce a special summer event!

Right before the school year kicks back in, on August 8th, SHAPE Alaska is proud to present a full day of professional development with some amazing guests! The morning’s session will be all about CSPAP - developing a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program - for your school community. Participants in this PAL (Physical Activity Leadership) Training will give you the skills to help your students and staff create a dynamic environment, with a ton of movement opportunities throughout the day. In addition, this half-day session will also provide you with a network of resources to bring back to your school. This training would be great for anyone - PE teacher, school nurse, recess monitors, classroom teacher - literally anyone who wants to be a champion for increased movement in your school community! So, if you know of someone who might be interested, spread the word!

The second half of the training will be focused on quality physical education instruction. Jessica Shawley is the 2012 National Middle School PE Teacher of the Year, and a National Board Certified Teacher. She’s coming up to Alaska to share her innovative teaching techniques, and to inspire you for the new school year ahead! She is dynamic and creative, and her ideas can be used at all levels - elementary through high school!

This training is free for SHAPE Alaska members, and only $25 for non-members. In addition, those of you who live further than 50 miles outside of Anchorage can apply for a travel scholarship to help off-set costs of travel and lodging. (The deadline to apply for the scholarship is June 15, so you’ll need to apply ASAP to get one!)

Be sure to take advantage of this incredible opportunity! We are also planning to offer a one-credit option through UAA for those who might be interested. More information for that will be available closer to the training day. However, don’t wait to register and apply for the travel scholarship! Mark your calendar, and go to this link for additional information and to register!