Exercise Your Mind: Collaborating To Enhance Physical Education In Illinois Schools – archived webinar

Originally presented on August 17, 2012

Click Here to View a Recording of the Webinar

Presentation Slides in PDF



Illinois has long been a leader in valuing children’s health by requiring daily physical education for grades K-12. The release this summer of the Illinois Enhanced P.E. strategic Plan further demonstrates Illinois’ leadership in this area. The Plan stresses that P.E. can not only enhance health, it can play a significant role in children’s academic performance. Unfortunately, national research suggests that generally, the time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity in most P.E. classes is low. While some Illinois schools have designed or adopted model programs to create opportunity for physical activity, many schools have not yet taken advantage of the research and best practices that optimize the academic and health benefits of P.E. class and physical activity throughout the school day. Parents, students, teachers, community coalitions, school boards, and school administrators play key roles in mobilizing resources and achieving buy-in for these changes.

During this webinar, participants will learn about the goals and strategies of the Illinois Enhanced P.E. strategic Plan, published in June 2012. Participants will also learn about how P.E. has been redefined in recent years and practical ways in which this “new” P.E. can be implemented. The presenters will share research demonstrating the link between physical activity and improved academic performance. Resources and tools for working with your school and community to support these changes will also be provided.



As a result of participating in this Webinar, participants will be able to:

1. Describe Illinois’ Enhanced P.E. Strategic Plan and the state-level commitment to quality P.E.
2. Explain how P.E. has been redefined to optimize health and academic outcomes.
3. Understand the association between physical activity and academic performance.
4. Identify meaningful ways to support quality P.E. and potential resources for working with schools and communities to increase opportunities for physical activity.


Target Audience

This webinar is intended for community members, parents, students, teachers, health departments, school board members, principals, superintendents, and local coalitions that want to collaborate to enhance P.E.



Opening Remarks by:
Illinois State Superintendent of Education Christopher Koch, Ed.D. &
Illinois Department of Public Health Assistant Director Teresa Garate, Ph.D., M.Ed.

Dale Brown, Ph.D.

Dale Brown is a professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Recreation and is director of the Illinois State University Exercise Physiology Laboratory. With 24 years of professional experience he has taught in both the undergraduate and graduate programs at Illinois State University teaching a variety of classes from Human Anatomy and Physiology, Exercise Physiology, Exercise in Health and Disease, Statistics and other courses. His research and grantsmanship efforts have lead to numerous publications and presentations as well as over $500,000 in grants and contracts. Dale has spent the last 15 years working with teachers and schools in the enhancement of physical education programs. Additional research interests include physical fitness and activity, exercise in health and disease, and exercise metabolism.
Dale has a Ph.D. and M.S. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in Physical Education with specialization in Exercise Physiology and a B.A. from the University of Minnesota at Morris in Health Education. Dale has been awarded health initiatives leadership award from the Greater Midwest Affiliate of the American Heart Association and has received the Heart Saver and Hero Award from the Central Illinois American Heart Association. His teaching ability has been recognized at Illinois State University with the Outstanding Teaching Award within the School of Kinesiology and Recreation.

Paul Zientarski, MS

Paul is the Learning Readiness P.E. Coordinator for Naperville School District 203 in Naperville, Illinois where he spent the last 26 years as the Department Chairman for P.E., Health and Driver’s Education at Naperville Central H.S. Paul retired in May 2010 after 40 years in education. Through LRPE, Naperville Central High School has seen dramatic improvements in test scores, behavior, and childhood obesity. School districts from across the country and around the world visit to learn why the P.E. program is so successful and employ the concepts learned there.

Paul holds a BS in Physical Education and an MS in Communication Science along with an Administrative Certificate. Zientarski is the Co-Director of DuPage County Institute for Physical Education and has held this position since 1986, and serves as a consultant for Polar Electro, Inc. Paul has been awarded the “Healthy School Hero” by the Action for Healthy Kids and has been inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at Quincy University. In addition, Paul has made presentations across the country on Learning Readiness P.E., PE4LIFE philosophy, Childhood Obesity, Physical Education Curriculum, Technology Use in Physical Education, Small-Sided Games, and Brain Breaks in the classroom.

This webinar is being offered in collaboration with the Illinois Enhanced P.E. Task Force and the Illinois Public Health Institute’s Healthy and Active Communities Network. Additional information on the Task Force and the Illinois Enhanced P.E. Strategic Plan is available on IPHI’s website.