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Fit to Be Taught, Vol. 38

Sports4Kids: Reforming Recess by Teaching the Rules of Play


Ask some principals to identify the most difficult part of their day, and it will be recess, a time when fights and visits to the nurse's office skyrocket. But before you decide to eliminate this important opportunity for physical activity, consider the causes of the chaos. Many students don't come to school with the tools they need to resolve conflicts or the basic understanding of playground games.

This is where Sports4Kids, a nonprofit organization based in Oakland, California, comes in. Through talented on-site playground coordinators and well-trained junior coaches, it provides the structure and guidance required to make recess the powerful and productive experience it should be.

"We know that play is essential to the emotional, social, and physical development of kids," explains Jill Vialet, founder and president of http://www.sports4kids.org" target="_blank">Sports4Kids. "We know that what happens in the classroom is important, but what happens on the playground is also vital to the health of kids and schools."

At a time when some schools are eliminating recess in favor of additional instructional time, Vialet believes that encouraging healthy play at recess is vital and can contribute to the classroom learning environment. Sports4Kids helps schools make the most of recess times, providing skilled coordinators who create a safe and structured environment and organize games and sports during recess periods. Sports4Kids works side-by-side with physical education teachers to promote opportunities for physical activity.

Read the full article on Education World.


Running for Fun and Fitness

It's "Funner" to be a Runner is a fitness education/classroom program designed to promote cardiovascular fitness and respiratory efficiency, while at the same time enhancing mental, emotional, and social health for K-5 students at Meridian Elementary School in El Cajon, California.

Students run for 45-50 minutes five days a week and some enter weekend fun runs. They do push-ups and pull-ups daily. Students gain a sense of confidence from meeting goals and accomplishing athletic activities that they could not do before, and the self-confidence often carries over into their schoolwork. Many of the youngsters keep in touch with school staff members after they leave the fifth grade, and report that they are still running, biking, swimming, or engaging in other types of exercise.

The program also stresses good nutrition. Healthful snacks are provided on a daily basis at school. Parents always are sending in nutritious snacks for the entire class and many tell school staff members that their children won't eat white bread, cakes, or other sugary snacks at home.

Read more about this program at: Its Funner to Be a Runner.

Click to learn more about Action for Healthy Kids.

Wellness News
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