Ten Redwood City elementary schools will soon offer physical education for students thanks to a local partnership grant. Redwood City and its Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department will be helping to provide physical education programs to the local youth, in partnership with Peninsula Community Center which has received a grant of more than $575,000 from the Sequoia Healthcare District’s Healthy Schools Initiative.
Through the grant, 10 Redwood City elementary schools will be able to provide physical education classes for students in kindergarten through fifth grades. As a result, more students will have access to fitness education. Physical education has been shown to significantly contribute to students’ well-being, and to their academic success. The majority of children in California are not physically fit, and in San Mateo County, only 25 percent of fifth graders passed the State Physical Fitness Assessment Test in 2010. Although the state mandates 50 minutes of PE per five-day school week, 4 Redwood City Schools have been challenged to meet this mandate due to more than $13 million in budget cuts in the last five years.
In response to this need, the Peninsula Community Center began providing coaches and PE classes to five schools in 2009. The need filled by PCC was well-received, and with proven success and increased demand from principals and schools, the program was expanded and currently serves seven schools.
This new strategic partnership between Redwood City and PCC will provide the PE+ program, a comprehensive, sequential K-5 curriculum, to approximately 5,000 children. With this cooperative services model, and the new support, the program will double the current capacity to meet 100 percent of the state’s PE requirement to Fair Oaks, Garfield, Hawes, Hoover, John Gill, Taft, Selby Lane, Henry Ford and Adelante elementary schools.
“We are so grateful to have the PE+ program and coaches at our site. They are positive role models for our youth,” said Roosevelt Elementary School Principal Patricia Girardi.
We are very excited to be a part of this new and important program!