Thursday, July 14, 2016

To do better in school, kids should exercise their bodies as well as their brains, experts say

Attention parents: If you’d like to see your kids do better in school, have them close their books, set down their pencils and go outside to play.
That’s the latest advice from an international group of experts who studied the value of exercise in school-age kids.
“Physical activity before, during and after school promotes scholastic performance in children and youth,” according to a new consensus statement published Monday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
What’s more, exercise and fitness “are beneficial to brain structure, brain function and cognition,” the experts concluded.
The group of 24 researchers from the United States, Canada and Europe came up with this advice after poring over the latest scientific and medical research on the benefits of exercise in kids ages 6 to 18. The experts, from a variety of disciplines, gathered in Copenhagen this spring to assess the value of all kinds of exercise, including recess and physical education classes in school, organized youth sports leagues and old-fashioned outdoor play.
Though all of these activities take kids out of the classroom or away from their homework, they are still a good investment in academic achievement, the consensus statement says. Even a single break for moderate-intensity exercise can boost “brain function, cognition and scholastic performance,” according to the statement.
The benefits also extend to the psychological and social realm, the experts wrote. Exercise will clear their heads, help them make friends, and help them feel more confident around their peers as well as coaches and other adults.
Any kind of exercise is valuable, but goal-oriented activities provide extra benefits, the experts found. Among other things, they promote “life skills” and “core values” like respect and social responsibility, they wrote in the statement.
Not surprisingly, exercise – whether it comes in the form of a tennis lesson, soccer tournament, family hike or bike ride to school – also boosts physical health. Kids with good heart and lung function and strong muscles are less likely to develop chronic conditions like diabetes and coronary artery disease as adults, the experts noted.
All of these are reasons why schools and communities should make sure kids have access to playgrounds, parks and bike lanes, the statement says.
And if you’re worried that your son or daughter will lose precious minutes polishing up a book report or cramming for a final, you can relax.
“Time taken away from academic lessons in favour of physical activity has been shown to not come at the cost of scholastic performance,” the experts wrote.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

School Grants July-Dec

These grants was shared by the California Afterschool Network

Deadline: July 8, 2016
The vision of the program is that all children and youth growing up in Promise Neighborhoods have access to great schools and strong systems of family and community support that will prepare them to attain an excellent education and successfully transition to college and a career. 

Deadline: August 16, 2016
The purpose of this program is to provide competitive grants to applicants with a record of improving student achievement and attainment in order to expand the implementation of, and investment in, innovative practices that are demonstrated to have an impact on improving student achievement or student growth, closing achievement gaps, decreasing dropout rates, increasing high school graduation rates, or increasing college enrollment and completion rates.

Deadline: September 30, 2016
Youth Service Briefing and Disney are teaming up to award $500 to young change-makers, ages 5-18, who are working with organizations to make their communities healthier, greener, and stronger. 

Deadlines: September 30, 2016 (for spring and summer projects)
and January 31, 2017 (for fall and winter projects) 
The Captain Planet Foundation primarily makes grants to U.S.-based schools and organizations with an annual operating budget of less than $3 million. Captain Planet Foundation also provides grants ranging from $500 to $2,500 for activities that are project-based, performed by youth and have a real environmental impact.

Deadline: August 1 – September 30, 2016
It’s become increasingly difficult for schools to fund learning opportunities outside the classroom. To help them out, Target launched Field Trip Grants in 2007. Since then, they’ve made it possible for millions of students to go on a field trips. Each grant is valued up to $700.

Deadline: Ongoing
Know a middle or high school math or science teacher who uses interactive and creative learning approaches to help their students learn. Nominate a Math Hero today! Each Math Hero receives a $2,500 award and their school receives a matching award.

Deadline: Ongoing
KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization dedicated to promote balanced and active play for underprivileged kids, offers various grant opportunities to help communities support their playspace projects. Grant applications are accepted on an ongoing basis with monthly deadlines.

Deadline: Ongoing

Computer-based technology is no longer supplemental in most of our lives, but rather a critical factor. The future is technology, and the future is now – why not receive some assistance in taking yourself and your students there?

Monday, May 23, 2016

“Grow 4 It!” stands for, “Implement Your Plan”

Part 4 

Implement your planGreetings! I hope by now you’re read all 3 parts of “Grow4It!” If not, just scroll down and catch up. We’ll wait for you to come back…Welcome back! So now you know that everything we’ve done thus far has led us down this personal, professional growth path. We’ve “G”athered resources, human and otherwise; we’ve “4”mulated (formulated) our plan; and now we’re in the process of “I”mplementing it.
I’ve asked people in my PLN to weigh in with their best tips and advice. These folks are all terrific and I strongly suggest you follow them on twitter -- as I do.The question I posed was,“What tips or advice do you have for physical educators in the process of implementing their professional growth plans?” I didn’t want to provide a lot of detail that might funnel their responses into a predictable pattern. I think you’ll enjoy their candid and insightful comments.
Here we go!
Martha James-Hassan (@drjameshassan) is an Assistant Professor of Physical Education at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD., and a nationally known presenter. Martha shared the following:
“Employ an “and” strategy. When confronted with a challenge, be it to implement a new curriculum, negotiate for resources, or engage with challenging students, acknowledge the obstacles AND the possibilities. Replace “buts” with ands”. E.g., rather than saying things like, “That’s a good idea, BUT I can’t do that in my school,” shift to, “That’s a good idea, AND to implement it I’ll need _____________ .”
Pam Powers (@psquaredpe) is a former SW District TOY, star innovator and presenter, now with letsmoveschools.org. Pam shared 3 tips:
1. If at first your lesson does not succeed, try again! It could be a poorly constructed lesson, or the wrong lesson for a specific class.