Last week, Melissa spearheaded a press conference, covered by NY 1, calling on the New York City Department of Education to be in full compliance with New York State guidelines for physical education (PE) in New York City public schools. Recent reports from the American Heart Association and the Women’s City Club of New York have demonstrated a clear need to improve the quality and quantity of PE in New York City. The benefits of PE are far reaching evidence shows that school-based PE leads to improved academic achievement, increased state standardized test scores and a student’s health and overall well-being. PE also improves a child’s cognitive ability and behavior.
Melissa expressed her concern regarding this critical issue saying:
“Providing quality physical education instruction for our children is absolutely critical in a time when our City is facing a staggering childhood obesity epidemic! It is unacceptable that teens in East Harlem (which I represent) are nearly three times less likely to attend a daily gym class than teens in more affluent neighborhoods! And we wonder why our community has one of the highest childhood obesity rates in the city. This is why I spearheaded a letter to the DOE signed by 35 of my colleagues, asking the department about its strategy to improve the quantity and quality of PE instruction in our schools and demanding a plan to address the disparities between schools that have sufficient PE programs and those that do not.”
Transportation Alternatives and the New York City Department of Health are hosting a public workshop to assist and educate community based organizations with the Play Street application process. Play Streets are weekly one-day street closures in the summer that give children access to a safe, fun and supervised place to engage in physical activity. Many neighborhoods throughout New York City lack access to parks and open space, making it difficult for children to get the proper amount of exercise each day. Play Streets address this problem by empowering community groups to create their own places for children’s recreation and encourages a healthy active lifestyle.
The workshop will provide participants with the knowledge, tools and assistance to win a Play Street for their neighborhood. Additionally, you will be guided through the application process and they will work with you on developing strategies to ensure a successful program. They will also provide you with information about improvements you can request from the City to make your neighborhood streets safer and more welcoming for walking and biking.
WHO: Transportation Alternatives and the New York City Health Department WHAT: Play Street Permit Process Workshop WHEN: Thursday, January 31, 2013; 4 PM – 6 PM WHERE: 40 Worth Street, 5th floor, room 5.2/5.2 RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-839-6483