AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 If it gets the nod from the board, the program could be the answer to Plum Canyon’s need to solve a problem many California public schools face – providing adequate physical education to students. State budget cuts years ago wiped out funding for physical education instructors at many public schools, leaving the job in the hands of classroom teachers who weren’t specifically trained in the subject. Many schools have looked for ways to take the responsibility off teachers’ shoulders and at the same time provide better physical education to their students. In some cases, parents in local PTA’s have raised money to pay the salaries of physical education teachers who then come regularly to their children’s schools. Under this program, physical education classes at Plum Canyon would be led by CSUN staffers trained in exercise and fitness. If approved, CSUN will seek grants to pay for the staff. SAUGUS – Kids at Plum Canyon Elementary School this week headed off the playground for recess and instead ran laps around a grassy field. The school was testing a new physical education program that it hopes the Saugus Union School District’s school board will approve at an upcoming meeting. Hailing from the California State University, Northridge, Department of Kinesiology, the program includes fitness, nutrition and wellness and aims to improve the school’s current physical education classes taught by classroom teachers and make pupils more aware of their health. “It’s about a change of behavior,” said Principal Mary Jane Kelly, who hopes the kids keep moving during recess. “We’re really trying to fight childhood obesity,” said Vicky Jaque-Kamp, assistant CSUN professor. State law requires that schoolchildren get 200 minutes of physical education instruction every 10 days, averaging out to about 20 minutes a shot. Although sometimes teachers do run around the fields practicing sports with their students, other times physical education class is merely playing on the playground. “I think the assumption is that if your kids can hop, that’s OK. But that’s not enough,” said Jennifer Romack, CSUN assistant professor. Romack said the program focuses on skills children should learn at their grade levels, and that in the end kids will improve their abilities with sports and learn to enjoy being active and participating in athletics. Basketball, for example, would include instruction for throwing the ball. Another game, where the object is to steal tennis balls from opponents, focuses on strategizing and working with teammates. Sixth-grader Megan Dorr said P.E. class can either mean swinging on swings or playing softball. As she ran around the field at school Friday, the 12-year-old said she’s getting in shape for summer. And how are the workouts going? “It’s going pretty good,” Megan said. “I’m getting better at running.” Sue Doyle, (661) 257-5254 email@example.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!