The National Fitness Foundation Brings Innovation to Physical Education

Washington, DC, Oct 31, 2017 – The National Fitness Foundation, in partnership with DonorsChoose.org, launched the Physical Education (PE) Innovation Challenge to support the transformative work of physical educators across the country. The funding opportunity is the first DonorsChoose.org Innovation Challenge for physical educators.

The Challenge encourages creative and engaging thinking by inviting teachers to submit their most innovative fitness education ideas. As each project goes live on DonorsChoose.org, every dollar donated will be automatically matched by the National Fitness Foundation. The Foundation has committed $250,000 of support for projects submitted to the Innovation Challenge, including prizes for the winning projects.

According to the U.S Department of Health & Human Service’s Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, it is recommended that children engage in 60 minutes of physical activity every day, yet barely half of youth today meet this recommendation. Physical inactivity not only leads to health risks and instills sedentary lifestyle habits, but also is threatening to make this the first generation of kids to live shorter lives than their parents.

Despite physical education being the most inclusive and evidence-based solution to get kids active today and prepared for a lifetime of health and fitness, the median physical education budget for schools in the United States is only $764 per school per school year, according to the 2016 Shape of the Nation Report. The funds provided by the Foundation will help to accelerate solutions that prepare children for a lifetime of health and fitness and provide physical educators with the resources to make their innovative ideas a reality.

“Through funding the PE Innovation Challenge with DonorsChoose.org, we can provide physical educators with the platform they need and empower strategies that help children perform at their highest potential inside and outside the classroom,” said Chris Watts, National Fitness Foundation Executive Director.

The Challenge’s criteria will align with the nation’s fitness education and assessment program—the Presidential Youth Fitness Program.

As part of the Foundation’s larger effort to bring a forward-thinking approach to fitness education, the second phase of the PE Innovation Challenge includes a panel of expert judges, representing the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, American Heart Association, Nike, and Target, that will review the submitted projects and determine the winning ideas. The top three projects will receive a DonorsChoose.org gift card ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 provided by the Foundation.

“We’re so grateful for the support of the National Fitness Foundation, which will bring a new level of creativity and innovation to physical education classes across the country,” said Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose.org. “We’ve long believed teachers know best what their students need to succeed, and we can’t wait to see the ideas that the nation’s top PE teachers submit for this challenge.”

Click here for more information about the PE Innovation Challenge.

About the National Fitness Foundation

The National Fitness Foundation is the only congressionally chartered nonprofit focused on health & fitness. Established in 2010 as the official charity of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, the Foundation uses public-private partnerships to accelerate solutions that prepare children for a lifetime of health & fitness. With the focus on ensuring that all students have access to quality physical education, the Foundation leads the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, the nation’s model for fitness assessment and education in schools. For more information, visit fitness.foundation

About DonorsChoose.org
DonorsChoose.org is the leading platform for giving to public schools. Teachers across America use the site to create projects requesting resources their students need, and donors give to the projects that inspire them. Since its founding by a Bronx teacher in 2000, 2.8 million people and partners have given $580 million to projects reaching 25 million students. Unique among education funding platforms, the DonorsChoose.org team vets each project request and ships resources directly to the school. Every donor receives photos of their project in action, thank-yous from the classroom, and a cost report showing how every dollar was spent. DonorsChoose.org was the first charity to make the top 10 on Fast Company’s list of the Most Innovative Companies in the World. Visit www.donorschoose.org to learn more.