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School PE Programs in Sorry Shape

Very little exercise in today's PE classes, plenty of blame to go around

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In North Philadelphia, the average school might house 500 kids, and have only about 1000 square yards of blacktop area for recess, he explains. An indoor room serves as gym, assembly room, and cafeteria from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. -- the majority of the school day. "Compare that to a rural or suburban school where they may have five to10 acres of grass," King says.

Also, budget cuts have impacted school programs. "PE is one of the first cuts made, and one of last programs to come back," he adds.

"It's frustrating -- there are acres and acres of abandoned land, empty apartments, in the major cities. In a dense city like Philadelphia, they're within blocks of the schools. It just takes some grass seed, literally a grass-roots effort, to transform these areas into exercise space for kids."

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