Physical Education Programs Fight for Time - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Physical Education Programs Fight for Time

Jonathan Hermosura Jonathan Hermosura

By Mary Simms

HONOLULU (KHNL) School is back in session, but are your kids getting enough exercise? In order to keep up with standardized achievement tests, many Hawaii schools have cut back their physical education programs significantly.

Studies show that many kids are just not getting enough exercise. But, what's a school to do when they have to balance a competitive academic program with physical education?

At Maryknoll Grade School, these second-graders say P.E. is fun. But, as much fun as it is -- a problem many schools face is simply not having enough time for it.

"A lot of schools today are really struggling with the academics, they're trying to keep up with the testing, the standardized tests and so they're really cutting back on P.E and the arts. and, those areas are really suffering," said Maryknoll Grade School P.E. Department Head, Jonathan Hermosura.

Its an issue that's contributing to childhood obesity and a host of other health problems.

"Their health is probably the most important thing, and if you if you don't have your health than all those other things like math and science can't come into play."

The kids have structured P.E. about once a week, less than the recommended daily activity. But, Maryknoll finds ways to keep them moving.

"We encourage our teachers to take them out during the class day, get them out of their seats and be active."

Like these fifth-graders who spend their lunch break playing basketball. Emmit Parubrub says if he had a choice between video games and the great outdoors?

"I would rather go play outside."

But he doesn't think today's kids are less active.

"No. Because we always want to be outside and play and have fun."

And even though they may not have as much time for it as they like, these kids understand the importance of being active.

"It makes us more healthy because it really gets your heart pumping and it makes you stronger," said second grader Chelsea Michel.

"So you can be strong and active and you can live a long life," added second grader Lauren Kaneshiro.

Those we talked to said teaching the kids principles of health and nutrition, is just as important as exercise.

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