This section of WhatWorks presents examples of proven programs for physical activity, active transportation, and childhood obesity. A program included in WhatWorks either has been shown as effective through research and evaluation or has been successfully implemented by a community or a school district.
The Walking Classroom
Sponsor: The Walking Classroom Institute
Purpose: This is a program that helps to ensure students have the opportunity for movement they need without sacrificing classroom time. The program supplies teachers with age-appropriate podcasts that incorporate the common core.
Benefits: Students get in 20 minutes of physical activity which has been shown to stimulate mental health.
Challenges/Limitations: The program is directly aligned with 4th and 5th grade curriculum (though is appropriate for grades 3-8) -- only. There is a significant cost to participating in the program, though kits can be sponsored or borrowed on a limited basis.
Youth Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Education Curriculum
Sponsor: School-based and community education programs
Purpose: Programs can be brief (such as a bicycle or traffic safety rodeo or a class or school assembly) or intensive (in-depth instruction and practice sessions). The latter are deemed to be more effective.
Benefits: Children who use "self-powered" transportation to school and community activities benefit from special training in safe biking and walking.
Challenges/Limitations: A comprehensive curriculum can be costly, thus favoring the bicycle rodeo or school assembly. Some schools prefer not to dedicate academic class time for bicycle or pedestrian safety, but prefer to use physical education time.
Pennsylvania Safe Routes to School Program; Helping students, schools and communities take steps in the right direction
Routes to School (SRTS) programs use a variety of education,
engineering, and enforcement strategies to make routes safer for
children to walk and bicycle to school. This is a resource for schools,
municipalities, and community leaders seeking resources, materials, and
training through the SRTS program. It addresses issues, such as, though
not limited to: what makes a good SRTS project; how a school/community
initiates a SRTS project; and walkability.
Source: Pennsylvania Safe Routes to School Resource Center