Ani Avetisyan

What comes to mind when you think of P.E. (physical education) or gym class? If your K-12 P.E. experience was limited to recess and dodgeball, you might be surprised to learn how one charter school system is turning the concept of physical education on its head – to the great benefit of all its students.

With its robust physical fitness and athletics programs, International Leadership of Texas (ILTexas) has prioritized health and wellness in addition to academics. To learn more about how this benefits students, we spoke with Victor Cathey, Executive Director of Athletics at ILTexas, who has experienced firsthand the positive impact fitness and athletics programs have on students of all ages.

Builds a foundation for lifelong wellness

At ILTexas, traditional gym classes are eschewed in favor of physical fitness – beginning in kindergarten. In grades K through 8, students attend physical fitness classes for 45 minutes a day, five days a week. In high school, it’s 90 minutes every other day. But it’s not just how often they attend the class that sets the ILTexas fitness program apart – it’s what is taught during the class.

“It’s more than coming to the gym and playing games,” said Cathey. “It’s truly learning fitness. Students will practice speed, agility, balance…but they’ll also learn about things like heart rate and the importance of proper nutrition and hydration. Our students are going to learn more about their body as it relates to their overall health and wellness.”

These foundational lessons, coupled with stressing the importance of daily activity, help to instill in each student the skills and habits to support lifelong wellness. “The whole idea is to set them up for success as adults,” said Cathey.

Read The Full Article Here!