In our March 30th blog titled "Let's Move with FIT Kids! What You Can Do to Support Wellness Education in the Schools," we advocated for the FIT Kids Act, urging you to visit the FIT Kids website to show your support for this initiative. If you haven't done so yet, it's not too late! The website makes it simple, providing a pre-written letter and a list of your congressional representatives. Meanwhile, we wanted to share a recent response we received from Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. We are hopeful that your letters to your state representatives will garner a similar supportive response.
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids Act (S. 576). I appreciate hearing from you.
As you may know, on March 15, 2011, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced S. 576, which was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. If enacted, S. 576 would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to require state and local educational agency report cards to annually include information on school health and physical education programs. The Act would also require training for physical and health education teachers and would direct the Secretary of Education to contract with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to conduct a study investigating the impact of health and physical education in schools.
As the mother of two children, I recognize the important role that health and physical education play in providing students with a well-rounded education. However, I also believe that strong families are the foundation of our country and provide an invaluable support system that allows our children to grow into successful adults. That is why I believe parents, first and foremost, should take the responsibility in advocating physical education for their children.
The epidemic of obesity in our country is certainly troubling, and I appreciate the role of physical education teacher in encouraging children and families to emphasize physical activity as part of their daily routines. I will be sure to take into account your support for S. 576. Although I do not sit on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, please know that I will consider your input should the bill come up for a vote in the full Senate.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. As your Senator, it is important for me to hear from you regarding the current issues affecting New Hampshire and our nation. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I may be of any further assistance.
Kelly A. Ayotte
U. S. Senator