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The Role of Exercise in Education

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The three Rs remain in the world education, but one letter seems to be disappearing – E for Exercise.

"One of the things we do on a daily basis is balance all of those things," said College Station Independent School District Deputy Superintendent Eddie Coulson. "We want to teach kids how to read and write and do math, and we do that very well. And just like reading and writing and math, we feel our kids can do better at that if we also expose them to physical activities and leading a healthy lifestyle."

It's state law that elementary school students have half an hour of PE every school day. Middle schoolers take a year of wellness, health or physical activity. For high school in College Station, students are required to take a minimum of one and a half credits of P.E.

But with all the subjects to cover, keeping kids healthy could get lost in the shuffle sometimes. But at CSISD, a healthy lifestyle for students is a priority.

"Maybe you can form some habits that these students can take with them once they got out of the class or even out of high school that they can maybe even just go for exercise three times a week, 30 minutes a time," said A&M Consolidated P.E. teacher Jay Pugh.

According to the latest Center for Disease Control survey of high schoolers, 40 percent of Texans get an insufficient amount of vigorous activity, such as playing basketball or soccer, and 80 percent don't get enough moderate exercise, like walking or slow bicycling.

"Our responsibility is pretty clear," said Coulson, "that we're to teach about a healthy lifestyle, but as you said, the kids are in school most of the time. Kids don't become obese at school. They become obese outside of school, and so the parents' responsibility and the community's responsibility also should be emphasized with all kids as well."