Getting students moving

South Butte County schools awarded physical education grant

In an effort to reduce the rate of overweight children in south Butte County elementary schools, Chico State's Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion will use a $623,863 grant to enhance the physical-education programs in Palermo and Oroville school districts.

The grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, will include seven schools where classroom teachers are responsible for the physical education of about 3,100 students, according to a Chico State press release. The program, called Get Moving South County, will recruit and train Chico State students as "play coaches," who will work with students during recess and lunch breaks. In addition to reducing obesity rates, the program also aims to increase fruit and vegetable consumption and to improve fitness scores.

"With new PE equipment, district-wide training, community collaboration and support from Chico State students, elementary school students will have many more opportunities for physical activity throughout the day," said Michele Buran, the Get Moving program director.