NEW YORK - May 1, 2012 - The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) joins the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) in celebrating National Physical Education and Sport Week, May 1-7. Let's Move in School
is this year's theme.
Let's Move in School is a national initiative that increases physical activity before, during and after school by providing schools with a comprehensive physical activity program. With physical education classes as the foundation, a comprehensive program includes movement skills, classroom activity breaks, the integration of activity into classroom lessons, walk to school programs, and intramural and interscholastic sports.
"We are so happy to partner with NASPE not only during National Physical Education and Sport Week, but throughout the year," said GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard. "Students who participate in athletic programs are not only healthier, but also improve their self-esteem, which can have a positive impact on their psychological wellbeing and academic ability in school. That's an important reason why GLSEN created its sports project Changing the Game. We want to ensure school physical education and sports programs are safe and accessible for all regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression."
The focus on physical education is important as an increasing number of children are suffering physical and emotional effects of living a sedentary lifestyle.
Although physical access to physical education and athletics is one barrier to healthy living, emotional barriers are just as problematic. A considerable number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students often avoid physical education classes and athletics due to feelings of safety. Nearly 36% of LGBT students reported they avoided locker rooms at school because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable, according to GLSEN's 2009 National School Climate Survey.
Changing the Game: The GLSEN Sports Project's was created to assist K-12 schools in creating and maintaining an athletic and physical education climate that is based on the core principles of respect, safety and equal access for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
To find out more information about Changing the Game, please visit: http://sports.glsen.org/
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.