Saturday, February 18, 2012

Turner Action

    Having introduced Physical Education and Gymnastics to the United States beginning in about 1848, Turners across the nation designed programs of phys. ed. and taught the instructors the correct methods of implementing this unique concept.  I suppose that, like today, people were caught up with their own lives, felt they expended enough energy by simply working hard at their jobs and that kids at play were active enough.  About the only similarity to those times not present today is that gym classes could not be a budget line item - after all, those classes didn't exist quite yet.

     Today, when childhood obesity is at record highs, sedentary yet stressful video games have replaced sport and parents are working dawn to dusk not plowing fields but pushing paper or searching for employment, school districts across the nation are cutting gym classes.  Art and music having already been eliminated, what was left?  How about history?  Oh wait, some school districts are cutting back on that too announcing that there is too much history to learn so let’s start somewhere other than the beginning.  Oh wait, which beginning?  But I digress from the topic – Physical Education.

     The Los Angeles Turners have decided that it is time to return to our own beginnings and conduct physical education again and not only for ourselves, but for school children in Los Angeles.  Our pilot program will be open for students effective February 27th and offers weekly 3 hour long classes for 9-1/2 to 13 year olds and 2 hour long classes for 6-1/2 to 9 year olds each week.  Classes will be held at the Goethe International Charter School as an enrichment program.  When successful, we stand ready to expand into which ever Los Angeles Public School wishes to join.  A Sound Mind in a Sound Body – a great concept, valid then and now.

     I wish to thank many individuals for supporting this project:  first the ever patient and most competent Physical Education Chair of the L. A. Turners, Mesfin Felleke; the concerned and active parents of the Goethe International Charter School’s students along with their forward thinking principal; and members of Los Angeles Turners who have so generously enabled the program with their financial assistance along with our Board of Directors who have supported this activity.

     Want to support this?  Visit

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