Friday, February 24, 2012

PE Advocacy - Get Parents Involved!

Parents are a key group for you to engage as you promote your physical education program. It is important that parents understand the issues that surround childhood obesity and sedentary lifestyles, but also that your PE program plays a role in combatting these issues.

Keep in mind that many parents' only experience with PE while growing up may have been negative. It is important that we let them know how far PE has come, and that your PE program is helping to build a foundation of health and fitness that their child will take with them for a lifetime.

Phil Lawler always used to say, "There is nothing more powerful than a group of passionate moms!" It is time to get these "moms" on your side!

John Baker, Physical Education teacher from Hanawalt Elementary School in the Des Moines Public School District, shares examples of advocacy tactics that have been successful in his program.

In this video clip, Mr. Baker discusses how he advocates to parents. He says it is important to engage parents in an on-going basis to ensure that PE is always on the front burner in discussions.


  • Create a partnership with parents and let them know you are there to support whatever endeavor they are working on. You can begin doing this by joining the PTA.

  • Invite parents in to participate and volunteer in the physical education classroom, especially during fitness testing so they are aware of the crisis at hand.

  • Host regular family activities that parents and children can participate in together.

  • Engage parents on an on-going basis to ensure PE is always on the front burner in discussions.

  • Mr. Baker’s PE Program has been selected as a PE4life Model Site in Iowa. Mr. Baker was the IAHPERD President 1998-2001, IAHPERD PE Teacher of the Year in 2005 and IAHPERD Honor Recipient in 2004.

    Watch for additional video clips coming soon that highlight Mr. Baker’s physical education advocacy efforts with administrators , policy makers and state-level decision makers.

    NOTE: The KidStriders program that Mr. Baker discusses is a great program for schools. You can learn more about it here:

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