Making Strides Towards Healthier Children
As younger and younger children are diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, and other weight-related conditions typically seen in adults, the effort to restore physical education to schools has become more urgent. The Oregon Sports Authority Foundation and its Director, Tonkon Torp attorney Owen Blank, have taken up the cause and have been honored for their efforts by PEAK (Physical Education for All Kids). The Foundation was recognized for its advocacy and leadership in helping to restore physical education to Oregon Schools in the 2007 legislature.
Others recognized for their efforts were Foundation CEO Drew Mahalic and Nike's Julia Brim-Edwards. Portland Public School Board member Sonja Henning, a former Tonkon Torp attorney, also testified in favor of this legislation.The passage of the House Bill 3141 established a minimum minutes standard for PE to be taught in schools, as well as provided the initial funding for a grant program to assist schools in meeting those standards. The new bill ensures that elementary school students will have at least 150 minutes a week of physical education and middle school students will have at least 225 minutes.
The Foundation believes that the passage of the House Bill will make major strides towards helping the 25% of Oregon's 8th graders who have been diagnosed as overweight, as well as helping to improve overall academic performance. The mission of the Foundation is to facilitate active participation in sports, physical education, and related programs with an emphasis on opportunities for underserved youth across Oregon. Thanks to the efforts of attorney Owen Blank and the Foundation, the state of Oregon is one step closer to improving the health, fitness, and academic performance in Oregon schoolchildren.
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