For Immediate Release
May 5, 2008 Teachers and Administrators Across the Country Support Olympic Week in America, May 5-9, 2008 COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.-The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is again supporting Olympic Week in America, May 5-9, 2008. This second annual event is celebrated by schools and community centers with a week-long educational program consisting of lesson plans and activities for grades kindergarten through eighth and coincides with National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Olympic Week in America materials have been distributed to more than 4,000 teachers nationwide through the USOC's official Web site and through USOC outreach at selected events. Last year more than 200,000 students nationwide participated in Olympic Week in America, and the program's success led the USOC to develop it again this year with a special emphasis on Beijing. In addition, physical education teachers from nearly 50 schools in Chicago gathered in mid-April for an Olympic Week in America professional development workshop hosted by Chicago 2016. During the five-hour session, the teachers learned about the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Chicago 2016 bid, the Olympic Week in America program and participated in their own mini-Olympic Field Day. These same teachers returned to their schools and developed extensive Olympic and Paralympic programming for their schools during Olympic Week in America. In implementing the program citywide, Chicago 2016 has chosen a theme for each day of the week including Teach for a Day, when Olympians and Paralympians will visit area schools, an Arts and Culture Day, a Paralympic Sports Day, and Field Day. All participating schools will receive a USA Olympic Flag to use during their Opening Ceremonies for the week, and a Chicago 2016 DVD that includes several inspirational videos for students. Throughout Olympic Week in America and the month of May, the USOC is also delivering regional F.L.A.M.E. (Finding Leaders Among Minorities Everywhere) programs through its Community Partner program. Organizations and cities participating in these events in May are: - Lakeshore Foundation, Birmingham, Ala. - Center for High Altitude Training, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Ariz. - Miami-Dade Sports Commission, Miami, Fla. - Harris County Sports Authority, Houston, Texas The Olympic Week in America program enables educators to expand student awareness and appreciation of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Olympic Movement. Its lessons and activities enhance core curricula taught in the classroom. Through a focus on the Olympic and Paralympic Games, particularly the Games in Beijing, students will reinforce their skills in language arts, social studies, math, science, and physical education. All materials for Olympic Week in America are available free to educators at 126.96.36.199. Educators may access the materials by clicking on the Olympic Academy-Education and Outreach icon located on the USOC's homepage. For more information, please contact the USOC Media and Public Relations Division (719/866-4529). This release also is available on the USOC's media-specific web site http://usocpressbox.org.