Students Teach Their Siblings To Swim
During National Physical Education and Sport Week, May 1-7, Belmont Preparatory High School, Fordham Leadership Academy for Business and Technology, Fordham High School for The Arts and West Bronx Academy for The Future joined more than 3,700 schools representing nearly three million students who are participating in Let’s Move in School, a national initiative in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign and to show the nation the importance of increasing physical activity before, during and after school.
"Keeping children and teens interested in being physically active is critically important to reversing the growing epidemic of childhood obesity. The aim of Let’s Move in School initiative is to educate youth about all of the benefits of a physically active lifestyle and to ensure that every school provides opportunities for quality physical education," said Srecko Mavrek, swimming teacher and President of Exercise Science/Sports Medicine Section of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. “According to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost half of young people aged 12-21 and more than a third of high school students do not participate in vigorous physical activity on a regular basis, a contributing factor to obesity over a lifetime. Only 35 percent of the high school students meet the recommended levels of physical activity, according to the CDC.”
The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) recommends that schools and families incorporate at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity into each child's daily routine. Let’s Move in School, an initiative of NASPE and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), is designed to help every school provide a comprehensive school physical activity program with quality physical education as the foundation so that youth will develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime.
During this special week, more than 50 participants participated in the project Students Teach Their Siblings How To Swim, geared towards family and community involvement including various age groups (2-27) and grade levels 6-12. There were two 3-hours sessions held on May 5 and 6. The students were really excited to teach basic water skills to their siblings. This method of teaching is effective with children, particularly small children, who feel happier and more relaxed on first going on to the swimming pool with their sisters or brothers.
“I had so much fun and would like to do it again,” said Ayanna (10), who participated in the project with her sister Ebony, 10th grade student at Belmont Preparatory High School. Cindy (12) said that her sister Carina, 12th grade student at Fordham Leadership Academy for Business and Technology, taught her how to float, glide and kick on the front. She would also like to do it again and learn how to swim freestyle. Tamara (27), who was taught by her brother Errol, 9th grade student at Fordham High School for The Arts, said “My brother showed me how to relax in the water, float and glide. I would like to continue learning.”
West Bronx Academy for The Future Middle School students particularly enjoyed in this project. Many parents and family members came to support them and they would like their kids to be involved in similar projects in the future.
“It is very important for our school to participate in Let’s Move Campaign. Physical education significantly contributes to obesity prevention and therefore we strongly support comprehensive physical activity program approach and this project,” said Wilper Morales, Principal of the West Bronx Academy for The Future.
Michael E. Stewart, swimming teacher and coach at Theodore Roosevelt Educational Campus said: “We are proud to be part of this national effort to increase the physical activity levels of our children and youth. Let’s Move in School is laying the foundation to inspire our students to stay active all year long, and hopefully for a lifetime.”
“Our goal is to urge the Bronx community to give every child the opportunity to learn to swim. Swimming is fun, relaxing and great exercise. Swimming lessons lower the risk of drowning, which is still a leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1 to 14,” added Mavrek.