TOO MANY LOW INCOME
KIDS ARE SIDELINED
Athletic Programs in Many LA-Area Catholic Elementary Schools Are Severely Challenged.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), children aged 5-17 need at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each day to maintain good physical health. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) goes even further; noting that participation in sport is a protected right that is fundamental to the health and growth of children everywhere. And yet, fewer than half of American school children ages 6-11 get the requisite level of exercise they need, and nearly one third are overweight or obese.
In addition to the health benefits of regular physical activity, studies have also demonstrated that sport and play enhance child development and learning, and encourage better academic performance. Indeed, a recent study by the Los Angeles Unified School District found that high schoolers who participate in athletics attend school significantly more often, have higher GPA’s, and score higher on the CST’s in both English and Math than their peers.
Participating in sports also builds character and improves social skills. Participation in school sports teaches children how to lead– and how to be collaborative. And they learn respect—for each other, for authority, and for the rules of the game. The skills and values they acquire on the sports fields transfer to the game of life. Bottom line: kids who play sports tend to grow into happier, healthier adults.