PE helps more than the body

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Physical education teacher Chelsea Dandini is full of enthusiasm and creativity and is a great gift to the students of the Auburn Union School District. In times of severe budget cuts, we typically focus on core curriculum and take the axe to the seemingly superfluous stuff like music, art and PE. However, in many cases, these broad educational opportunities are what make school stimulating for students who are not perfectly aligned with a mainstream learning environment. Furthermore, extensive research (cited by the Kaiser Family Foundation for one) reveals an extremely strong link between physical fitness and academic performance. In these times of test-based curriculum and intensive pressure to perform on standardized tests, forward-thinking teachers who integrate physical activity into their curriculum, and specialists like Chelsea Dandini, contribute greatly to the improved test scores and student well-being. I urge the decision-makers in Auburn to do everything possible to save and support physical education. Our elementary school scholars will likely be able to someday produce essays interpreting the meaning of “Sit mens sana in corpore sano” (a healthy mind in a healthy body), but who cares if they are not able to live it? Brad Kearns, Auburn