The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS) and the General Mills Foundation are pleased to announce a new opportunity for low socio-economic status schools (SES) to participate in the President’s Challenge Physical Activity and Fitness Awards Program and be recognized as “The General Mills’ Challenge Schools.”BACKGROUND:The PCPFS has a long and productive history of promoting physical activity and fitness through diverse venues. The President’s Challenge Physical Activity and Fitness Awards Program now offers a menu of programs for everyone ages 6 and above, i.e.: the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award, the Presidential Champions Award, the Physical Fitness assessment, and the Health Fitness assessment. The PCPFS believes that all Americans, young in age and young at heart, should be rewarded for participating in regular, daily physical activity; therefore, teachers, principals, and parents are also encouraged to walk the talk and participate in daily physical activity.
On June 20, 2002, President George W. Bush appointed twenty individuals to serve on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. One of our major grassroots initiatives is to raise the awareness of the benefits of a physically active and fit lifestyle for all Americans and enhance the availability of presidential recognition. We are committed to working with schools that previously did not have an opportunity to participate in the President’s Challenge program; e.g., low SES schools and inner city schools. The PCPFS office can help identify these schools in your area as needed. The General Mills Foundation will sponsor the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award for all students who commit to the six week activity program.
The following template may assist you in formulating a plan for your area:
Additional information on the President’s Challenge is available on www.presidentschallenge.org.
- Identify the schools in your area that either do not have the financial capability to purchase awards for the students, or are a low SES and/or inner city school.
- Contact the principal and do a presentation on the benefits of physical activity, and explain this unique opportunity for their schoolchildren to receive presidential recognition for adopting and maintaining a physically active and fit lifestyle.
- Discuss an ideal timeline with the PTA, Principal, or teachers to initiate the six week Active Lifestyle program (they actually have 8 weeks to complete the 6 week challenge).
- Arrange time to introduce the program and discuss this ideal opportunity for the school to receive presidential recognition.
- Jointly determine the best 2-month period to launch the program.
- Brainstorm on interim activities to keep both teachers and school children motivated and excited.
- Plan a celebratory awards ceremony in which those who have completed the six week commitment receive their patch and certificate signed by the president.
- Notify the PCPFS (Christine Spain, Director, Research, Planning, and Special Projects 202-690-5148) with information on your program, number of students who completed the program, etc.
- In addition to the patches and certificates, your school and number of awardees will be listed on the President’s Challenge website under “General Mills’ Challenge Schools.”
- Encourage the school to commit to a second 6-week program, so they can also receive recognition as an Active Lifestyle Model School, a free school recognition program of the President’s Challenge.
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