August 12, 2013
Over 300 physical educators from 31 states and 5 foreign countries convened at UNC Asheville July 29-August 2 for the National Physical Education Institute (NPEI), hosted by the North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness (NCCHW). The Institute emphasized how schools can more effectively use their limited resources to foster new strategies for implementing stronger fitness, health and obesity prevention programs for K-12 children and youth.
With nearly two-thirds of North Carolina adults and one in three youth being overweight, the NPEI offered educators ways to tackle this public health crisis head on. The extremely interactive institute kept attendees moving throughout the day with sessions focused on the positive power of physical activity, incorporating the Let’s Move initiative into classrooms and physical education for special needs students.
“North Carolina is not immune to the devastating impact of unhealthy weight that continues to threaten our health and economic well-being. We are in a public health crisis that has led to increased risk factors and rates for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and lower life quality for far too many North Carolinians. The National Physical Education Institute is an extremely informative event and is a compliment to the center’s focus on achieving a healthy weight for North Carolina’s children, youth and young adults,” said Dr. David Gardner, excutive director from NCCHW.
Technology was also a dominate theme for the week with participants learning how to incorporate QR codes and social media tools into their classrooms. Attendees took to the web to network, discuss their sessions and offer those who were not in attendance key quotes and pictures from the Institute. The hashtag #PEInstitute13 was used throughout the five days, and created over 230,000 impressions on social media.
“My biggest takeaway from NPEI is now knowing that I'm an integral part of an international group that plays a significant role in the ongoing physical, mental and social development of our students,” said Lamont Day, a physical education teacher from Kresson Elementary School in New Jersey.
Organizers are already in the planning process for the third annual NPEI in 2014, with DVD’s of the 2013 keynote speeches being made available for purchase in the coming weeks. Doug Simkins from Boulder County Day School in Colorado said of the Institute, "The NPEI is a necessary part of growing as a physical educator. It is a way for people from all over to gather, share and learn from other people who are looking to better their programs. It is easily the best gathering of Teachers of the Year, profession experts, vendors and committed and dedicated physical educators."
For more information on the National Physical Education Institute visit the National PE Institute website at nationalpeinstitute.com or visit NCCHW's Facebook page for photos of the event at https://www.facebook.com/NCCenterforHealthandWellness.