- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - An expansion of New York City’s Public Schools Athletic League will emphasize girls’ teams and new teams at small schools.

Chancellor Carmen Farina (fah-REEN’-yah) said Wednesday that about 220 new teams will be added in the 2015-2016 school year. They’ll provide athletic opportunities for an additional 3,000 high school students.

The city’s Department of Education says studies have shown that students who play high school sports have better educational outcomes, including higher grades and standardized test scores.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says physical activity may help students improve their concentration and focus in the classroom.

It also says sports helps adolescents strengthen muscles and bones, and reduces the risk of developing obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

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