Creating Opportunities For Physical Activity (COPA)

Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers’ Creating Opportunities For Physical Activity program believes all schools should provide children the opportunity to be active and healthy before, during, and after school. Every day we coach, guide, and inspire children, parents, teachers, and school staff to create a culture of daily physical activity and healthy eating, because everyone should live and learn in a healthy environment. 

Creating Opportunities for Physical Activity (COPA) provides the following services:

  • Peer-coach training for teachers. Physical Education teachers have been eliminated in many urban, public schools.  COPA uses a peer coach model to teach elementary classroom teachers how to provide Physical Education using a Providence designed and standards-based Physical Education curriculum.
  • Increase Physical Activity Opportunities. Through trainings for before and afterschool staff, trainings for recess staff, special events such as Cardio-Carnivals and Jog-a-thons, and in-class activities such as Instant Recess®, COPA provides children with numerous opportunities to be active throughout the day.
  • Family activities to promote parents as role models for healthy behavior. COPA provides exercise classes, health education and special family nights that teach easy, low cost ways to be healthy.
  • Healthy Eating. COPA promotes healthy eating through various nutrition campaigns, lessons, and the introduction of salad bars as part of the school lunch.

COPA Works!

An independent evaluation shows that children who attend schools where COPA is implemented participate in more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, have improved cardiovascular endurance, and improved weight after the program is implemented at their school. In addition, mounting scientific evidence supports the link between physical activity and improved academic achievement in students. 

Learn morea bout why active kids learn better and how schools can help at activelivingresearch.org/activeeducationbrief.