Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Peaceful Playgrounds Receives Top Honors



Nationally Rated Best in Class
A panel of experts representing 27 national organizations and government agencies gave the Peaceful Playgrounds Physical Activity Program their highest rating of excellent! Their Best in Class Award noted the program brought about "whole school change."

Peaceful Playgrounds received the award for addressing a number of national physical activity standards and Action for Healthy Kids Goals.

1. Provide daily recess periods for elementary school students, featuring time for unstructured but supervised active play.
2. Encourage the use of school facilities for physical activity programs offered by the school and/or community-based organizations outside of school hours.

These goals are met as Peaceful Playgrounds is a recess and after school program described best in April 2003 Parent Teachers Organization magazine as " Peaceful Playgrounds concept takes a resource most playgrounds already have-open space-and transforms blacktops and fields into play areas for different age groups with activities such as tetherball, wall ball and Frisbee golf."

Various research studies on Peaceful Playgrounds indicates that students were more physically active and drawn to the recess markings thus indicating that behavior was effected. -Behavior- MVPA increased (evidence playground observation) -Knowledge-students acquired knowledge in game rules, and sports skills (evidence game participation) -Attitude- Attitude changes in a decrease in perception of bullying incidents ( documented in CA Healthy Kids Survey) -Policy changes have varied per school site. Most policy changes occur in the recess reinstatements. -School Environment . Changes in physical environment documented in the playground repainting and adding games. Emotional environment changes as students report feeling safer in a "peaceful environment." evidence recess surveys pre & post implementation of Peaceful Playgrounds).