In honor of National P.E. day last week, Herschel Walker, Billie Jean King, and a host of other celebrity athletes joined P.E.4Life to release its “Blueprint for Change.” This 10-step action plan is designed to make children healthier through quality, daily physical education programs and increased physical activity.

The Blueprint was the first product of P.E.4Life’s new Center for the Advancement of Physical Education, the nation’s first physical education “think tank” focused on research, analysis and policy initiatives in the area of physical education.

SEW spoke with PE4Life’s president and CEO, Anne Flannery, who said that her organization has been approached by several states to help craft legislation regarding physical education, and this new facility will help PE4Life do that.

“We have educators come from all over the country to train at our facility,” said Flannery. “Implementing a community-wide effort to support physical education is the key – we are not just training P.E. teachers, we get everyone involved.”

As part of National PE day, PE4Life and its members also visited over 100 federal law-makers and lobbied for increased funding to the Carol M. White PEP grants.

“Last year the program was funded at $70 million, and we are pushing for $100 million this year,” said Flannery. “We are also watching the Impact Bill which provides grants for P.E. in schools. Our support is definitely behind both programs.”

PE4Life also just held their second annual Summit. According to Flannery this event is designed to let members of the physical education community know that there is a support structure out there.

Flannery told SEW that PE4Life reaches about a half a million children each year. Currently, the organization is looking for partners to help and support an aggressive growth strategy. The organization has one training facility now, but their goal is to expand to 14 throughout the country. They have partnered with The Coalition for a Healthy & Active America, and are looking for other opportunities to reach this target