MANLY, Iowa - A new study reveals Iowa is the 4th heaviest state in America. Combatting obesity starts when our kids are young which is why the Department of Public Health says it's important kids are active during the day. That's where PE classes come in but it turns out Iowa is the last state in the nation to develop statewide standards for the subject. Craig Johnston teaches physical education at Central Springs Schools. He is one of 10 PE teachers serving on a state board, tasked with creating Iowa’s first set of PE standards.
“What standards are going to do is they are going to give a skeleton to PE teachers, what they need to be teaching,” says Johnston.
Johnston says one of his goals is to expose kids to all kinds of movement so they can decide for themselves what they enjoy and want to do for life. For example on Thursday and Friday Johnston brought in a special instructor to give students a lesson in martial arts. Johnny Martin owns PHF Karate in Mason City but took a few days away from his studio to come teach martial arts to students at Central Springs.
“Any time I can expose especially high school students to something other than the norm, maybe we can get one or two of them turned on to stay active after they leave high school,” says Martin.
And it appears students enjoyed the lesson.
“It was interesting, we did a lot of stuff I’ve never done before and tried different moves that you wouldn't normally get in a normal PE class,” says freshman, Aubrie Saysirisanh.
“Physical education is not only just moving, it's exposing kids to all different forms of movement and then eventually let them pick what they want to do for life,” says Johnston.
As far as when the new physical education state standards will be in place, Johnston is hoping teachers have something to go by next school year.
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