The 31st TAHPERD Summer Conference was held at the Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center in San Marcos by the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (TAHPERD). Professional educators for health, physical education, recreation, and dance from all points in Texas and from grade levels kindergarten through university, gathered to exchange innovative teaching ideas, recent research, and to discuss important issues facing Texas children. The epidemic of childhood obesity continues to be a concern. Conference attendees discussed the latest research showing the more physical fit a student is the better they perform academically, have fewer absences, and are less likely to have discipline problems. Other attendee programs addressed quality instruction, exemplary health and physical education programs, and the new innovations in teaching tools.
The teachers and administrators reaffirmed their dedication to the important task of educating Texas children for the 2015-16 school year. The professional attendees created strategies and exchanged ideas and activities to assure their students would receive quality instruction to build healthy life habits in physical activity and nutrition.
Dr. Debbie Rhea, Associate Dean and Professor at Texas Christian University and President of TAHPERD, unveiled her theme for 2015, “Igniting the Spark.” She explained, “Children lead healthier adult lives when they receive quality physical education, health instruction, and opportunities to be physically active during their school years. The relationship between being physically fit and academic achievement is evident and must be implemented in our schools.”
Jeremiah Neville, Director of Outside Sales for Everlast Climbing was a featured speaker at the two-day event which offered over 70 different presentations. Neville’s education session was entitled “School of Rock…Climbing: How to ‘Rock’ Your Traverse Wall” and provided best-practice protocols and activities for using a horizontal climbing wall in a K-6 physical education program. “Attendees appreciated learning new ways to use their climbing walls to help improve student engagement and fitness levels.” Everlast Climbing provides numerous education sessions every year at state AHPERD/SHAPE America Conventions as part of its quest to improve youth fitness in partnership with physical educators.