Q&A with Dr. Jayne Greenberg from the I Can Do It! Program

1. What is the I Can Do It! program?

The I Can Do It! Program (ICDI), released through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (Administration for Community Living), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education, is a voluntary school-based physical activity program designed to provide access, facilitate, and encourage opportunities for students with disabilities to be physically active for 60 minutes a day.  The program also focuses on educating students to practice healthy nutritional habits.

2. Does the activity need to be 60 consecutive minutes?

No. This can be accomplished by accumulating the 60 minutes through physical education, adapted physical education, recess, classroom physical activity breaks, active transport to and from school, and extracurricular activities, including a variety of club and sport activities.

3. Why is it important for schools to implement the I Can Do It!

There are almost 7 million students with disabilities that go to public schools alone! With limited resources for out of school physical activity for youth and children with disabilities it’s important that schools provide access and opportunity through a variety of activities.

4. How is the program implemented?

ICDI was developed as a year-long program, in 8 week intervals throughout the school year. Although we want our students with disabilities to be physically active every day, in order to get recognition, the students must participate in an accumulation of 60 minutes a day, 5 days per week for a minimum of 8 weeks.

5. Who at the school site administers the program?

ICDI can be administered by the physical education teacher, adapted physical education teacher, special education/classroom teacher, or any school staff member that works with the students during the school day. All they have to do is check off the box on the PALA+ log on the days the students meet the 60 minutes of physical activity to help them track their daily progress. The program lead also educates on healthy nutritional habits.

6. What is the recognition?

The individual recognition centers around the student receiving the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) for participating in 60 minutes a day, 5 days per week, for 8 week intervals. The awards recognition ceremony can be performed in a class setting or school wide awards ceremony at the end of the school year. If a school district adopts the program, then a district award ceremony focusing around ICDI can be coordinated at the end of the school year at one location.

7. Is the I Can Do It! program only for public schools?

No. ICDI can easily be implemented in any K-12 setting, Public Schools, Private Schools, Charter Schools, etc.

8. Is there a cost?

No. ICDI is voluntary and free.

9. Why is this important?

We know that healthy and fit students are better learners who are more likely to thrive in school and in life. Studies on the health and fitness of children and youth with disabilities show that many do not get enough exercise or have healthy eating habits. For this reason we are hopeful that every school district across the U.S. will offer the program to all students with disabilities in all schools.

10. Where can I get additional information?

You can find the full manual and PALA+ log at https://acl.gov/programs/health-wellness/icdi

11. Who should I contact if I have additional questions or want to get started?

Please contact Dr. Jayne Greenberg, Program Manager, at Jayne.Greenberg@hhs.gov, or 202 768-3557.