“Studies show that physical activity increases the ability to concentrate and improves cognitive function. There is a connection between a healthy body and a healthy mind.” – Senator Linda Holmes

SPRINGFIELD, ILWith just over 30 percent of high school students participating in physical education class on a daily basis and rates of childhood obesity skyrocketing, the need for daily physical activity for America’s youth has never been higher. To address this growing problem in Illinois, Senator Linda Holmes (D – Aurora) passed legislation signed today creating the Enhance Physical Education Task Force.

“This bill is the first step in taking a serious look at the positive impact physical education has on students,” Holmes said. “It benefits them both physically and mentally. Studies show that physical activity increases the ability to concentrate and improves cognitive function. There is a connection between a healthy body and a healthy mind.”

Senate Bill 3374 creates the 19-member Enhance Physical Education Task Force composed of four members of the General Assembly as well as representatives from school districts, not-for-profit organizations, principals, and physical education instructors. The task force will evaluate current standards, curriculum, and best practices, making recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly regarding policies to promote and enhance physical education programs across Illinois. In addition, a full report with the task force’s findings will be presented to the Governor and members of the General Assembly by August 31, 2013.

While the Enhance Physical Education Task Force was jointly created by the State Board of Education and the Department of Public Health in 2010, the passing of Senate Bill 3374 provides additional parameters and ensures the task force reports to members of the General Assembly by next August.

“I am looking forward to evaluating the task force’s findings to see what we as General Assembly members can be doing to increase the percentage of Illinois students participating in physical education classes,” Holmes continued.  

Senate Bill 3374 passed the General Assembly in late May and was signed by the governor today.

 

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