SHAPE America, previously known as the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAPHERD), launched their “brand” new name and logo the morning of Wednesday, 2 April 2014. SHAPE America hopes the new changes will increase the visibility of the organization.
The 2014 AAPHERD National Convention and Exposition is currently being held at America’s Center in St. Louis, Mo. Continuing through Saturday, 5 April 2014, this will be the last time the conference is held under its old title before making its full transition to SHAPE America. Consisting of more than 20,000 members, the organization is the largest group of physical educators in the United States. The convention, which is expected to draw a crowd of at least 5,000, will consist of more than 400 physical education-related sessions.
There will not be a lack of conversation at this year’s convention, with the recent release of the Common Core state standards and its lack of physical education requirements. In addition, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which does not include physical or health education as a core subject, is up for reauthorization by Congress. The members of SHAPE America are optimistic, due to Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move Active Schools” campaign drawing attention to the lack of physical education requirements in the country’s school systems. Currently, Illinois is one of the few states in America that requires all grades to take daily physical education. There are some states, such as Missouri, that only require students to finish one credit of Physical Education before graduating.
The convention will address these subjects in addition to sessions on a wide range of topics from teaching disabled students to instructing rambunctious kindergarteners.
In addition, SHAPE America plans to publish a book on the revised national standards for physical education, which will reinforce the importance of students understanding the benefits of being physically active.