FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 2013
Miami-Dade County Public Schools
President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition
Students with Disabilities Receive Awards from
President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition;
Council Executive Director Announces Expansion of I Can Do It, You Can Do It!
MIAMI, FL - More than 1,200 students with disabilities received awards from The President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN) today at Felix Varela Senior High School in Miami, Florida. PCFSN collaborated with Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) to honor the students with the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+). All of the students participate in PCFSN's I Can Do It, You Can Do It! (ICDI) program led by M-DCPS District Director and PCFSN member Dr. Jayne Greenberg.
Students earned PALA+ by participating in ICDI, and engaging in regular physical activity with a mentor during the 2012-2013 school year. During the event, PCFSN Executive Director Shellie Pfohl announced the revitalization and expansion of ICDI to include both youth and adults with disabilities, and to add at least 100 new sites across the nation within the next five years.
During the awards ceremony, attendees watched a video address by First Lady Michelle Obama in which she issued a call to action for parents, school administrators, community leaders and others to raise awareness about the importance of daily physical activity for people with disabilities and to support the implementation of the ICDI program in their communities.
Based on published research reports, individuals with disabilities have higher rates of overweight/obesity and sedentary lifestyles than their counterparts without disabilities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity rates for children and adults with disabilities are 38 percent and 57 percent higher than rates for children and adults without disabilities, and adults with disabilities engage in physical activities on a regular basis approximately half as often as adults without disabilities.
ICDI partners with schools and school districts, colleges and universities, and other community entities to provide mentoring programs that facilitate physical activity and nutrition education opportunities, and offers recognition through PALA+. PCFSN will provide a comprehensive toolkit to enable site directors and mentors to be successful in providing opportunities for children and adults with disabilities to be active, as well as provides relevant physical activity and nutrition-related resources to encourage a healthy, active lifestyle.
“People with disabilities should be afforded the same health benefits and opportunities as everyone else,” said Pfohl. “That is why I Can Do It, You Can Do It! is so vital; it provides opportunities for everyone—regardless of age, background or ability—to lead a healthy, active lifestyle.”
For more information about the I Can Do It, You Can Do It! program, and how to sign up to become an ICDI Advocate, visit www.fitness.gov.