The Four Minute Mile: Improving Student Health, Academic Outcomes, and Quality of Life in America’s Schools
While the intended outcome of the passage of federal legislation was to undue years of failure to educate the underprivileged and inner city children of our nation (Noddings, 2005) the focus has moved the emphasis of education of the whole child to the production of higher academic test scores.
The fundamental problem with the legislation contained in high stakes testing was in the failure of proponents to address the basic cornerstone to the educational establishment of America: What is the purpose of education in our country? With obesity rates rising among America’s children, the highest rate of increase is in 2 -5 yr olds, our schools have an opportunity and obligation to address the needs of the whole child. Stanfield Elementary is a small school in rural Arizona that serves a very poor population. Stanfield is the only school in Arizona to ever win the Gold with Distinction Award from the USDA HUSSCC program for the healthy initiatives that we have put into place. Our students receive PE at least 4 days a week, 3 recess periods daily, get to experience gardening, work out in our brand-new $100000 fitness center we won from the National Foundation of Governor’s Fitness Councils, and grow both emotionally and academically. This session will discuss the state of obesity in our country, the framework for schools to make a positive difference, and the steps leaders can take upon return to their communities to immediately make change with no cost to the school or the district.