The American Heart Association, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) and the Rhode Island Foundation are happy to announce the Rhode Island PE & Me Contest. The contest invites all students from across Rhode Island in grades K-5 to design a postcard that shows what they love about physical education (PE) in school. Postcard submissions are being collected through April 26, 2019, and winners will be announced May 10, 2019, with an award ceremony to be held on May 22, 2019 at the Rhode Island State House.
The contest was designed by the American Heart Association and BCBSRI, in collaboration with the Rhode Island Foundation, to shine a light on the importance of PE in school. Effective PE offers kids the best chance for activity in their school day and teaches them the skills needed to sustain an active and healthy lifestyle. PE has positive impacts on their physical, mental and emotional health. PE programs improve judgement, reduce stress, and increase self-esteem. But the benefits don’t end there, as active kids also learn better. When kids are active, they focus and think more clearly, and perform and behave better in class. Every student should have access to effective PE in school.
Despite the many known benefits of PE, mounting competing priorities are making effective PE programs increasingly less common. Schools (and PE teachers) need support for physical education programs, facilities, and equipment so kids can be active. It can be difficult for schools to balance funding constraints, but every student should have access to effective PE in school to help build a foundation for a healthy lifestyle. As advocates at the American Heart Association work to educate decision-makers and ask them to prioritize and invest in PE, students from across Rhode Island are encouraged to get involved and have a voice by sharing their love of PE through the contest.
“The American Heart Association, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Foundation are committed to helping kids and families live heart healthy lives. The best way to make that a reality is to emphasize the importance of physical education at a young age,” said Carolyn Belisle, managing director, Community Relations for BCBSRI. “As we raise awareness of the importance of effective physical education in schools, we want to take the extra step to get students involved.”
The PE & Me Contest calls on students to get creative and draw what they love about PE in school, and write a brief sentence about why PE is important to them. First, second, and third place winners will be selected—one set of winners from grades K-2 and one set of winners from grades 3-5. Prizes include gift cards for Dick’s Sporting Goods, and admission passes for Roger Williams Park Zoo.
School teachers and administrators can acquire a contest kit for their students by contacting Andrea Turtletaub at the American Heart Association at (401) 228-2329 or SNEHeart@heart.org. Kits include blank postcards for entries and entry forms with detailed information. The entry form and contest rules can also be downloaded below.
The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.