CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Coach Myron Lowery's group fitness class at Butler High School is not the P.E. class you might remember from your days in high school.
Gone are the days of waiting around to be picked on a team. Gone are the days of Dodge Ball. Gone are the days of dressing out only to walk the track. Today's Physical Education classes at Charlotte Mecklenburg are a combination of games, and more importantly, life style fitness skills. And for the first time, the district is offering them as electives system wide.
"We're doing lunges, again! Take a big step back and knee down," Lowery bellows to the students in his Group Fitness class.
Classes have names like Cardio Core, Yoga, Strength Training and Boot Camp. It's the first time Charlotte Mecklenburg has offered the fitness classes as electives system wide. The goal: to get students learning about fitness throughout their high school experience so that they might continue when they reach adulthood.
"All the research supports it. Exercise makes children learn better. Healthier children perform better academically absolutely," said Kim Cooke, CMS Health and P.E. Specialist.
"It's pretty hard. It's a lot more work and less games than usual," said Butler Freshman Michael Sanchez.
Sanchez and his classmates were sweating, moving from station to station and being physically challenged when NBC Charlotte visited the class.
"I'm going to be struggling. Everybody might be struggling," said Justice Wallace when we asked him what the end of the semester holds.
"The goal for us is to teach the skills now so they'll want to go to the gym, YMCA, Sports Connection and fitness centers so they'll exercise for a lifetime," said Cooke.