CLEVELAND, OH—Thousands of Cleveland elementary school students have been chosen to participate in the initial fall start to the Physical Best program, designed to promote healthy, active lifestyles for all students – particularly those whose health may be at risk because of inactivity or poor diet.

The program is of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education for use by physical educators to provide a comprehensive fitness education and assessment program, including teacher training and resources. The goal is to move students from dependence to independence for their own fitness and health by promoting regular, enjoyable physical activity. The Americans Heart Association’s Cleveland Metro chapter will kick off the program at 15 Cleveland area schools this fall as a result of a $50,000 grant from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation.

“And once we’ve demonstrated success with students at these schools, our next steps will be to expand the scope and reach of the program to positively affect additional students and their families,” said Terri M. Jones, Cleveland Metro Executive Director, in a release.

Student participants will work to obtain and maintain a healthful level of aerobic fitness, muscular fitness, flexibility and body composition. After completing the program, test results will be compiled into a report for each participating school.

“Schools will analyze the report for the purpose of developing appropriate student program and activities within their own curriculum that support a healthy lifestyle,” Jones said. “Physical Best incorporates national physical education, dance and health education standards – as well as the latest youth fitness research and practices – into its approach.”