Official Newsletter of the President's Challenge


Participant Spotlight

Water Fun, Fitness & Nutrition, Green Bay, WI

water-fun For the second year in a row, 25 girls in grades 3-8 from the Green Bay Area Public School District are having a blast and splashing their way to Presidential Active Lifestyle Awards.

School social worker, Julie Brunner spearheaded the creation of Water Fun, Fitness & Nutrition after reading the results of the Green Bay Life Style Study which showed that childhood obesity and type II diabetes were on the rise in the area. As a certified water aerobics instructor, she wanted to share her love of being in the water with girls who typically do not join sports teams or exercise on a regular basis. She was aware of the President’s Challenge and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign and decided to merge the initiatives to support girls in the Green Bay School District.

After Julie and her team put together a proposal and received permission to teach the class, the Green Bay School district generously offered the class free to any girl in the Green Bay School District as well as free advertising, bussing, breakfast, lunch, and teacher stipends. The Greater Green Bay Community Foundation has been another supportive partner in making the program the success that it is. The foundation assisted last year with a $1,000 grant to cover the initial water aerobics equipment, pool games, prizes and PALA certificates, and provided an additional $1,500 this summer.

School counselor, Jennifer Schenk assists Julie with teaching the class and PE teacher, Lynn Carney serves as lifeguard for the program. Monday through Friday from 9 am until noon, the girls stay cool and active with water aerobics and new and exciting games, exercises, and water challenges each day. The girls love this kind of exercise and on the last day, they receive their Presidential Active Lifestyle Award. Julie says, “As a social worker, it has been a pleasure for me to see the girl’s improve their self-esteem and develop new and positive relationships with the other girls in class.”

If anyone is interested in starting a program in their area, Julie encourages them to research community partners who share their interest in motivating youth and supporting better fitness and nutrition. Schools, hospitals and various businesses often provide equipment or grant funding opportunities to support initiatives that will improve the overall health of today’s youth.

Advocate of the Month

American Association of Adaptive Sports

adapted-sports American Association of Adapted Sports (AAASP) is the newest addition to our team of President’s Challenge Advocates, and one of our many excellent resources for participants with disabilities. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, AAASP developed the model for the nation’s most comprehensive school-based athletic programs for children with physical disabilities. Since incorporating as a non-profit organization in 1996, AAASP has held 1445 interscholastic athletic competitions in seven adapted sports, serving over 4000 students in grades 1-12 with 35 different physical disabilities. In the early years, AAASP focused on working with school districts to integrate adaptive sports into their extracurricular activities by developing competition rules; standardizing seasons and safety guidelines; crafting an education program for coaches and officials; and creating guidelines, policies, and procedures for school participation. AAASP also works with the Florida High School Athletic Association to provide opportunities in wheelchair track and field, and is currently expanding their reach into other states by forming key strategic national partnerships. AAASP continues to work toward achieving the proper level of resources while forming strategic partnerships to meet the growing demand for program services to help improve the health and well-being of our nation’s school children with physical disabilities. For information on getting your school district involved with competitive adaptive sports, please email, or visit their website at


Science Board Column

Whole of School Approach to Physical Activity

By Harold W. Kohl, III, Ph.D., PCFSN Science Board Member 

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently released a report entitled “Educating the Student Body: Taking Physical Activity and Physical Education to School.” With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the report committee was tasked with: 1) assessing the status of physical activity and physical education in schools; 2) reviewing the science behind the effects of physical activity on health, development and academic performance in youth; and 3) making recommendations appropriate with the scientific evidence.

Central to the Committee’s recommendations is a Whole of School approach to physical activity programming. With this approach, quality physical education is at the core for all students, and other opportunities are provided throughout the school day to ensure that all students meet the youth recommendations of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans—at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a day. Such opportunities include active transport to and from school, intramural and extramural sports, recess, active classroom lessons, and before and after school activities. These strategies, when taken together, can help children achieve the recommended daily physical activity which can lead to better health, development and academic performance.

Historically, schools have played a central role in the health of our nation’s children. Nutrition (breakfast and lunch), immunization and health screening programs also play a key role in the school setting because healthy students are better able to learn. The science base that supports physical activity for good health, development and helping students reach their full academic potential strongly suggests that physical activity should be given the same attention as other programs for the sake of our children.

*Notes: Dr. Kohl (the author) chaired the IOM committee that released the “Educating the Student Body: Taking Physical Activity and Physical Education to School” report. PCFSN Council member, Dr. Jayne Greenberg, also served on the IOM committee that issued this report. View the original blog post at the PCFSN website.