Letter: Physical education in schools is essential

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Graphic by Lori Deaton

Physical education in schools is a vital and essential part of public education. PE impacts youths’ mental, physical, and emotional health and well-being in a positive and completely necessary way. It sets up healthy and active habits for youths to practice throughout their lives.

Students with access to quality PE programs are proven to have better academic performance, classroom behavior, scholastic achievements and focus. PE reduces stress, improves judgment and increases self-esteem, which appeals to students, teachers, school board members and parents. In fact, 95 percent of parents in America support mandatory PE in grades K-12. These are just a few reasons of many that PE should be included in the annual N.C. School Report Card.

[In addition], 36.5 percent of youths are overweight or obese. For many youths, because of their location and/or lack of transportation, PE could be their only source of physical activity in a day, in a week or in a semester. Imagine how much impact could be had on those youths by improving this system (or lack thereof).

Twenty percent of high school age students suffer from depression, and lack of physical activity is a leading factor in this problem. Imagine how we could improve and potentially prevent this level of mental illness for our youths.

Show your support for physical education by reaching out and contacting N.C.’s Department of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education to encourage them to include PE in the state’s School Report Card.

— Ella Carlinnia
Ninth-grader
Youth staff, YES! (Youth Empowered Solutions)
Asheville area

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