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Fulton County PICH Program Funds Creative PE in County Schools | Print |

The Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) Program is collaborating with Fulton County Schools to create and implement new, innovative physical education (P.E) curriculum ideas to be launched this month that will give all students greater opportunities for exercise throughout the school day.

The PICH Program, created and funded through an annually renewable cooperative agreement between Fulton County and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2014, is also providing financial support for the implementation of the Exemplary Physical Education Curriculum (EPEC) in all Fulton County elementary schools and the SPARK Curriculum in middle schools. Both programs are research-based and promote healthy habits in all aspects of students’ lives.

 On January 5, 2016, the PICH Program sponsored a daylong workshop on creative P.E. instruction techniques at Hembree Springs Elementary and Elkins Pointe Middle Schools in Roswell that attracted nearly 300 elementary, middle and high school teachers. It was the second of four such trainings PICH has agreed to sponsor in partnership with the County Schools, the Georgia Department of Education, Atlanta Regional Commission, HealthMPowers and Georgia Health Policy Center. Following positive feedback from the first workshop in August 2015, Fulton Schools agreed to utilize the instructional resources.

According to a 2013 report from the CDC, the statewide obesity rate was 13.2% for 2- to 4- year olds from low-income families; 16.5% for 10- to 17- year olds; and 12.7% among high school students.   A 2015 independent research study estimated that 33.4% of children aged 2 to17 in Fulton County were obese or overweight. Studies from researchers at the CDC and elsewhere show that in addition to preventing obesity and obesity-related health problems, physical activity enhances important components of academic performance, including concentration, cognition and classroom behavior. But the 2014 Youth Risk Behavior Survey of Georgia high school students found that just 43% of them were physically active for at least 60 minutes a day.  

“Combating childhood obesity by increasing opportunities for physical activity is a topline goal of the PICH Program,” said Lisa Goodin, Program Administrator. “We are confident that our collaboration with the Fulton County Schools on these new P.E. strategies will ensure that students have the means to become both physically fit and academically stronger.”

“We are excited to be working with the Fulton County PICH Program on these new curricula,” said Dr. Tasha Guadalupe, Health and Physical Education Coordinator for Fulton County Schools. “The resource funding that PICH is providing will enhance our teachers’ instructional strategies through a standards-based approach.   This will empower our students to maintain good health, perform better in class, and promote an active lifestyle.”

About PICH
The Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) Program is working with community partners to develop strategies and implement programs to promote healthier lifestyles and to reduce both health disparities and the incidence of chronic disease among County residents. The PICH Program is made possible by funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under cooperative agreement #IU58DP005568-01. For more information, please visit www.fultoncountyga.gov/partnership-to-improve-community-health. To learn more about Fulton County Health and Wellness, please visit www.fultoncountygahealth.org.

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