Focus on Physical Education Leads to a More Active School Day


According to research, active kids learn better – and this is especially true at Young Oak Kim Academy where physical education classes often involve academic lessons, too. Building on its strong PE program, the school has infused movement throughout the day since joining the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program.


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How Young Oak Kim Academy Got Moving

  Under the leadership of Physical Education Teacher Hicxell Wester, Young Oak Kim Academy built a strong and thriving physical education program.  

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Funding Opportunities

SPARK Curriculum


Let's Move! Active Schools


After joining the Healthy Schools Program, Hicxell has taken the school’s physical education program to the next level by accessing resources and funding opportunities. In recognition of their efforts, the school won a national award from Let’s Move! Active Schools and received a $5,000 grant and free physical education equipment in the 2015 school year.

The strong foundation in physical education has enabled the school to build a culture that’s committed to being active - from the administration to the students.

Read Their Story in the Huffington Post.

Pedal, Walk, or Skate to School

The school hosted its first ever Bike, Skate or Walk to School Day and was thrilled to have 500 of its students participate (nearly half the school!).

Walk to School Day Ideas

Break for Physical Activity

Teachers tracked each time they led a physical activity break in the classroom for a chance to earn a prize at the end of the month.

Physical Activity Break Tips

Track your Steps!

Each teacher received a bright orange pedometer to track their steps around school toward daily step goals, competing with their peers.

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Meet the Change Makers

Edward Colacion, Principal, Young Oak Kim Academy

"Our communities have disproportionately higher rates of hypertension, diabetes and obesity, so health education programs have really been an asset to our school.”

As a health and science teacher before becoming an administrator, Edward’s background has helped him position wellness as a priority for his overall student’s success.

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Hicxell Wester, PE Teacher, Young Oak Kim Academy

“After we'd have PE, when they came back into the class, they were just more interested in whatever I was teaching.”

Hicxell works academic skills into her PE classes to create a correlation between her students’ physical health and their academic performance. Her goals are larger than the next big game; she’s focused on lifetime success.

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Ben Melendrez, Healthy Schools Program Manager, LA

“Hicxell has taken the resources that the Alliance has provided to strengthen the PE department and really gotten the kids moving to reach their goal of physical education minutes.”

After Ben met Hicxell at a Healthy Schools Program workshop, he started attending Young Oak Kim’s school wellness committee meetings and helped the committee identify what health and wellness areas they needed to work on. Then Ben connected Hicxell and her staff with the resources they needed to get on the right track.

Learn More


Learn more about the Healthy Schools Program and get started by signing up at Thanks to support from the Kaiser Permanente National Community Benefit Fund at the East Bay Community Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the California Endowment, the Walmart Foundation and the Desert Healthcare Foundation, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, is working with communities throughout California to make it easier for kids to lead healthier lives.

We thank Kaiser Permanente for its support of our Program in Los Angeles, including at Young Oak Kim Academy.