Friday, December 28, 2007

Making A Difference for Kids




Volunteers in communities across the nation united in late October to perform community service projects for Make A Difference Day. The local Make a Difference Day event is led by the Volunteer Resource Center of SCV in cooperation with the city of Santa Clarita in Southern CA. Whenever there are large groups of children around, playgrounds are anything but peaceful. To address the issues of conflicts in games, bullying and the rise of childhood obesity Saugus School District implemented the Peaceful Playgrounds program. It is a set of colorful games painted onto the blacktop that includes over 100 activities. With so many well-marked and colorful games, kids are motivated to play more and be active instead of waiting around in lines. The program also encourages use of a universal set of rules and methods for conflict resolution that helps cut down the number of disagreements.

When the Saugus district implemented Peaceful Playgrounds a few years ago, the schools loved it. However, over the years the games have become dull and faded and are in need of repainting. The district had the materials but not enough manpower to repaint so many schools. That's where the Make A Difference Day volunteers come into the picture.

Local volunteers will go to go to Bridgeport, Cedarcreek, Charles Helmers, North Park, Rosedell, and Santa Clarita Elementary school sites to repaint the existing play ground games. We will have eight volunteers and one school staff at each site to complete this project. By the end of the day the playgrounds will be restored to their bright and inviting states.