It’s no secret that poor nutrition and inactivity are putting today’s youth at risk of developing life-threatening diseases as they age. According to the American Obesity Association, approximately 30.3 percent of children (ages 6–11) are overweight (at or above the 85th percentile of Body Mass Index, or BMI) and 15.3 percent are obese (at or above the 95th percentile of BMI). For adolescents (ages 12–19), 30.4 percent are overweight and 15.5 percent are obese. The prevalence of obesity has quadrupled over the past 25 years.
As fitness professionals you understand that children should be learning about the extreme dangers of being overweight and obese, as well as the importance of engaging in daily fitness-based activities. Physical education is one of the best ways to promote youth fitness; however, due to budget cutbacks, physical education and physical activity in schools has been seriously affected. ACE is committed to get kids moving and we offer the FREE Operation FitKids curriculum (a $99.95 value) for educators looking to integrate health and fitness into classroom learning.
The seven-lesson, free, online Operation FitKids™ curriculum is available for both the 3rd- to 5th-grade classroom level, as well as the 6th- to 8th-grade level. Each curriculum includes colorful illustrations, activity worksheets, vocabulary words and fun, age-appropriate examples to keep kids interested and engaged as you move through each lesson. All lessons are broken into two components—Fitness and Nutrition—to help kids understand that being active and eating well are equally important to maintaining good health and staying fit. And, although the lessons and their activities are presented in an independent fashion, lesson concepts can easily be integrated into existing curricula or training regimens.
The curriculum was authored by Debi Pillarella, who has a master’s degree in curriculum/program design and has spent more than 15 years teaching at the elementary school level. She is presently the program director at The Community Hospital Fitness Pointe in Munster, Ind., as well as an adjunct faculty member at both Purdue University (Calumet Campus) and Indiana University Northwest. Pillarella, a spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise, is an ACE-certified Personal Trainer and an ACE gold-certified Group Fitness Instructor. She has authored numerous articles in the area of youth fitness and is the program developer for Adventures in Fitness for Kids, KidZStep, FiTrips for Kids, Teenfit, Take 5 for Life, and the Fitness Force Super Hero Characters. Pillarella also received the prestigious ACE Fitness Director of the Year Award in 2004.
Get started today! Download the free Operation FitKids™ curriculum.