Aurora Public Schools Teacher Travels to US Capitol to Advocate for Health and Physical Education

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February 9, 2015

Aurora Public Schools Teacher Travels to US Capitol to Advocate for Health and Physical Education

Aurora Public Schools health and physical education teacher, Clayton Ellis from Mrachek Middle School, will head to the nation’s capital to advocate for school health and physical education. He will visit with lawmakers on February 10 and 11 to ask for health and physical education to be included in the federal education law known as Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which is up for re-authorization.

Ellis and colleagues from 37 other states will be advocating as part of SHAPE America’s 7th annual SPEAK Out! Day. This year, SHAPE America is looking to secure support for designating school health and physical education as core academic subjects. The group of educators will be urging legislators to bring the only federal funding for physical education, the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP), back to its original funding level of $100 million. The funding decreased for fiscal year 2015 to an all-time low of $47 million.

“As a health and physical education teacher, I see day in and day out the impact physical education has on all aspects of a student’s life, from improved academics and behavior in the classroom, to increased confidence to excelling in other endeavors, both personal and academic, as well as the obvious proven health benefits of being physically active,” said Ellis.

As a health educator, active member of SHAPE America and President of the Colorado Governor’s Council for Active and Healthy Lifestyles, Ellis' job is to promote active and healthy lifestyles.

Currently only six states require physical education in all grades K-12 and many states do not provide adequate health education instruction time as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Past participation from SHAPE America members has been critical in securing Congressional support for elevating health and PE to core subject status. Members have also been successful in encouraging their lawmakers to keep PEP funding from being cut out of the federal budget altogether.

To follow live updates on SPEAK Out! Day, follow #SPEAKOutDay on Twitter and join the conversation on Facebook. For more event details, visit:


Interested media may contact APS News Media Specialist
Patti Moon at 303-326-2755 for more information

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