Advocate for PEP, Physical Act and PHIT

Every year, SPARK takes to Washington DC to advocate for quality physical education alongside other professionals.  It is our commitment to continue to help be a voice on this issue.  Dr. Kymm Ballard has attended almost every Speak Out! Day and the National Health and Fitness Day on the Hill, missing only 5 events total.  The Sporting Good Manufactures Association named Kymm the Advocate of the Year in 2001.

Every year nearly 100 educators, students and supporters gather in the DC Area hosted by SHAPE America to help us understand the legislative issues and to practice for the day on the Hill.  In teams, we travel to the Hill and venture out for supporters and to be assured, Congress hears our voice as educators!!  Several weeks later, (this year is March 3-4, 2015) about 15-20 sports celebrities such as Herschel Walker, Mia Hamm, Annika Sorenstam, Abby Wambach, Peyton Manning, Gary Player, and more come to Washington DC to help our cause.  SPARK is a sponsor of this event and will be attending congressional meetings as well as presenting a demonstration on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 with the assistance of some local students under the DCPS Physical Education Teacher, Asa Davis!  For a glimpse from last year’s dance with Hershel Walker, click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCOqDrpfbL8

Now more than ever, we need everyone to reach out to Congress on behalf of PEP, Physical Act and PHIT!  These two bills have the opportunity to help physical education across the country and also help increase opportunities outside of school.   These are briefly mentioned below with links to find out more information as well as to become a leader and how you can advocate!!    Be sure to visit our SPARK Advocacy website at http://www.sparkpe.org/physical-education-resources/advocacy/

PEP

PEP is the only federal program that supports physical education, providing critical funding to initiate, expand and improve school physical education programs.  It has been cut and potentially going away.  Everyone should be supporting this!  http://www.shapeamerica.org/advocacy/

PHIT

Currently, Pre-Tax medical accounts are primarily used for reimbursement of medical expenses once you become sick. PHIT would allow taxpayers to place up to $2,000 a year in existing Pre-Tax medical accounts for reimbursement of physical activity expenses. – See more at: http://www.phitamerica.org/PHIT_Act.htm#sthash.Kkrm2CLp.dpuf

The PHYSICAL Act

PHYSICAL Act recognizes physical education and health education as core academic subjects within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and reauthorizes the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) competitive grants to school districts and community-based organizations. http://www.shapeamerica.org/advocacy/

To take action, please visit BOTH of these sites!

SFIA:

To Advocate for PHIT and PEP

http://www.capwiz.com/sgma/home/

SHAPE:

Advocate for PEP and PHYSICAL Act

http://www.congressweb.com/shapeamerica