MCPS teachers Matt Slatkin and Shannon Spencer have been working to get MCPS students more active for years. They traveled to Annapolis along with Doctors to encourage the General Assembly to pass legislation bringing Maryland in alignment with best practices.
Experts from the Society of Health and Shape America recommend that elementary school children get at least 150 minutes of P.E. each week. Montgomery County is near the bottom in the state and currently only provides 35-45 minutes per week for Elementary School children. Our neighboring counties, Frederick and Howard counties, currently provide 90 minutes of Physical Education per week!
MCPS and the current Board of Education opposed the legislation, despite strong support in the community and now Shannon and Matt are taking a different approach. Instead of asking the the General Assembly, they hope to make a difference for kids by advocating closer to home. They have reached out to all of the Board of Education candidates to see if they would sign The Kids’ Health Pledge, ensuring our Elementary school students have access to at least 90 minutes a week of physical education, working towards a healthier environment within MCPS for students both physically and mentally.
Maria Blaeuer (District 1), Lynn Amano (District 3) have signed the pledge. Julie Reiley (at-large) declined to sign, but indicated that she was supportive of the goals of the pledge. Other candidates either did not sign, or declined to reply at all. Said Blaeuer “increasing PE time is developmentally appropriate for our youngest students, addresses inequities in access to sports and recreation programs, and works to improve both education and health outcomes over the long term.” According to Matt Slatkin, “Stephen Sugg’s primary campaign brought attention and awareness to this issue, which we hope will continue until MCPS does more to support student health.”