When I look back to when I was a school-aged kid, I remember having arts and physical education everyday, as well as a few recess breaks. We painted, played music, did theater, played dodgeball and capture the flag, ran relays, jumped rope.....daily. And we were all the better for it.
Sadly, the number of overweight children in the US has tripled in the last 20 years. One in 3 American children today are overweight or obese. This makes them prone to diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and poor academic performance.
Over the last few years, we have battled a crippled economy. School budget cuts and the move toward standardized testing have significantly impacted the role of arts and physical education in our children's lives.
In 2002 the No Child Left Behind Act was passed, and the federal government moved toward assessing standardized test scores in math and reading as a means to creating school budgets. This means more time must be spent on these subjects and less time on non-tested subjects. The more a school falls behind on these overall scores, the less time and school budget is spent on non-tested subjects, including arts and physical education.
However, research shows that arts and physical education are invaluable to our children. Art teaches children so many valuable lessons, including how to respect different points of view, how to commit and follow through, how to think abstractly, as well as gives children a means to communicate their feelings. Exercise is equally important; it increases blood flow to the brain and endorphin levels, which help reduce stress, improve mood, and calm children.
Children who participate in art and physical education regularly are less likely to miss school, able to concentrate better, demonstrate less disruptive behavior in class, have higher self-esteem and have higher test scores in reading and math. Sounds like a winning combination.
The Fuse Fitness and 4Cats Art Studio, both located just off the Colusa Circle in Kensington, have partnered together to create Art Fu, a unique summer camp to help combat the decline of arts and physical education in our schools. This awesome, all-day camp (9:30am-4pm, M-Th) starts the day off at 4Cats, where campers will spend the week learning and exploring a specific artist and creating a masterpiece to take home. The afternoon will be spent at The Fuse, where campers will learn Kung Fu with Sifu De. This camp is a fantastic opportunity for our kids, who sadly do not get enough of art or physical education in school.
Yours in health,
Kristin @ The Fuse Fitness