Head Start Body Start: the National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play has developed a great movement and nutrition resource for teachers and parents called Healthy Home. Healthy Homes is a downloadable, reproducible resource designed to promote healthy lifestyles for young children and their families. Healthy Homes includes a fun movement activity, nutrition message, and healthy recipe. The downloadable resources come in English a…
The LEGO Children's Fund provides grants for collaborative programs, either in part or in total, to organizations that focus on early childhood education and development; technology and communication projects that advance learning opportunities; or sport or athletic programs that concentrate on underserved youth. Maximum award: $5,000. Eligibility: 501(c)3 organizations.

Deadline: January 15, 2011.

Students at Pablo Elementary School compete in the Henkel Helps Kids Get Fit contest to win $25,000 to improve health and fitness education, equipment, technology, resources and services for its students and the community. Physical education teacher Darci Nice hopes to use a portion of the award to implement a Peaceful Playgrounds Recess Program which will encourage the student’s to be more physically active during recess. Of Pablo Elementary’s …
Contributed by Andrea Bossenmeyer

Our US Map Contest Winners June 2009,
First Lutheran Elementary in Arkansas,
did a beautiful job painting their US Map!
Contributed by JC Boushh Since 1990, 40 percent of the nation’s 16,000 school districts have either modified, deleted, or are considering deleting recess from the daily elementary school schedule due to increased pressure from numerous sources to improve achievement. (American Association for the Child’s Right to Play, 2000)As schools, administrators, and teachers feel the ever-growing pressure to meet academic test scores and No Child Left Behi…
Target Game
Originally uploaded by mbossenmeyer You ask for it and we created it. Coming soon will be a set of indoor Peaceful Playgrounds to 2 Go Game Rugs.

The set includes a game rug, 6 bean bags, 30 table cards, instructions and markers for the table games. Great for indoor academic centers or Response to Intervention Activities.

Watch for their release sometime in January 2011.
A California Court of Appeal ruled that parents may sue a school or district that is not providing students the minimum amount of physical education mandated by state law. It has been reported that more than half the state's schools were not providing the required 200 minutes every 10 days for elementary-school students, or 400 minutes over that period for middle- and high-schoolers. San Francisco Chronicle
Contributed by JC Boushh Research published in the American Society for Microbiology indicates that dirt as actually beneficial for children and can affect then cognitively in a positive way. In the age of hand wipes and Purell parents and teachers can finally let their children experience the value of playing the dirt. The research indicates that children who play outdoors can inhale a soil-borne bacterium that has positive effects on cognition…
On an elementary school playground, the biggest and most boisterous kids tend to rule the roost. If they cut in line to use the monkey bars, no one will stop them. If they want to change the rule to a game, they’ll probably get their way. But at La Crescent-Hokah Elementary School, La Crescent, MN, the playing field will soon be leveled.

Immediately, teachers at the school saw a change in playground atmosphere after implementing Peaceful Playgrou…
The Saucony Run for Good grant program encourages an active and healthy lifestyles in children and is now accepting applications. Grants are open to community nonprofit organization that initiate running programs and up to $10,000 will be awarded.

As a company by runners, and for runners, Saucony understands the benefits of running extend way beyond strong legs and healthy hearts; research shows running can also help children do better in school…
A $10,000 grant to makeover a playground is open for applicants until December 1, 2010.

Other prizes include:
1)$25,000 in merchandise from Sports Authority
2)Every student will receive a Paul Pierce Activity Watch
3) Your school will be celebrated with a special event when the prizes are delivered!
*See eligibility in official rules
Runner-up Prizes

5 lucky schools will receive $15,000 in merchandise from Sports Authority

Help activate Energy Bala…
Here's a neat PDF that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation compiled from their 30 tweets of 30 facts about childhood obesity, during Childhood Obesity Month.

Download HERE.
Each year since the inception of the Champions for Healthy Kids program, the General Mills Foundation has awarded 50 grants of $10,000 each to community-based groups like this that develop creative ways to help youth adopt a balanced diet and physically active lifestyle.

Deadline for Applications: December 15, 2010

Application link.

Remember to include Peaceful Playgrounds in your grant application as we were selected as a model program.

Peaceful P…
Contributed by Andrea Bossenmeyer

The City of San Francisco just banned giving toys with Childrens' Happy Meals citing they contain too much fat and sugar. Proponents of the legislation suggest that toys are the culprit of poor food choices for the young set.

According to the ban, if a restaurant wants to give out toys, they need to include fruits and vegetables with the meal. So "Mickey D's"...all that would be required is to …
Fiskars Invites Applications for Project Orange Thumb Garden Grants.

Fiskars, a global supplier of consumer products for the home, garden, and outdoors, has opened the application process for 2011 Project Orange Thumb garden grants and makeovers in the United States and Canada.

Fiskars will choose eleven recipients from the pool of grant applicants — ten will receive $5,000 each in cash and tools, and one applicant will receive a complete garden …
By JC Boushh I get asked a lot about how to design the perfect playground for children when I lecture at conferences, and meet with clients to design their outdoor play environments. The first thing to know is that it is not just the playground that is important in the design, but it is actually the entire outdoor environment. Although the type of playground equipment you select is important to creating a good play environment, it is definitely …
Contributed by JC BoushhLast week I attended the National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference and had the opportunity to not only lecture on the value of free-play for children, but to also here many fellow advocates who share my beliefs in the importance of children’s play. I also learned that NAEYC is in the process of organizing a panel to prepare an official position on children’s play, and in NAEYC’s infinite w…
Kudo's to Parenting Magazine and the November issue in which they made the case for school day recess.

We've all heard of "the three R's": reading, writing, and arithmetic. The latest issue of Parenting School Years magazine is adding a fourth "R" to that list... RECESS!

What advice to they give for parents facing recess elimination? Contact your state recess advocate or visit www.Peacefulplaygrounds.com.

Teachers and 4-H members at W. W. Stewart Elementary School recently painted a United States map on the back patio of the school playground. A stencil was obtained through the Peaceful PlaygroundsUS Map Stencil Giveaway by Physical Education Teacher, Venessa Livingston.
Contributed by JC Boushh
There has been an enormous amount of research conducted on the important role recess plays in healthy child development, concluding that recess is necessary for a child’s: Physical Health, Mental / Emotional Health, Social Development, Cognitive Development, and Academic Achievement. An article titled “Even Turtles Need Recess: Many Animals -- Not Just Dogs, Cats, and Monkeys -- Need a Little Play Time” in Science Daily …
An article with resources on How to Establish a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program in Your District was recently released and supported by the California School Boards Association, California Project Lean, Successful Students and funded through the California Endowment.

The identify the following five areas are critical components in a comprehensive program:

1. Quality PE

2. Physical Activity During the School Day including recess and c…
Sharon Murray, the president of the Rocky Mountain Center for Health Promotion and Education, pointed out that states with “health-supporting policies” – things like minimum health and physical education requirements, an emphasis on healthy nutrition standards, funding for school-based health clinics and other student services – tend to have higher test scores and lower dropout rates than states that don’t.

“So my recommendation for action is, …
Contributed by JC BoushhA new podcast by Susan Engel, PhD., Katharine Beals, PhD and Sarah Garland titled “Are Schools Effectively Teaching Collaboration?” on BAM Radio asks the question are schools spending too much time on academics and missing the boat on socialization. As schools focus on increased academic performance and standardized test scores many schools are eliminating or reducing student’s recess time, but in reality this is have a n…
We all know by now, that we need to eat more fruits and vegetables! We also have heard of schools creating their own gardens and creating not only learning environments but supplying their school cafeteria's with fresh food as well.

Now Jamba Juice is sponsoring a grant called, It's all about the Fruits! Through the National Gardening Association.

20 Schools can win fruit trees valued @ over $500. Visit the link to find out more and app…
Los Angeles, Oct 20, 2010 –Peaceful Playgrounds was proud to be a sponsor and participate in the makeover of Lanier Elementary for the filming of School Pride for NBC.

"School Pride" is a proactive, alternative series that tells the stories of communities coming together to renovate their aging and broken public schools. While transforming the school, the community also restores its sense of value and school pride. Episode 2 "Follo…
Miami County Republic Newspaper
Beaver Dam, Wisc.

Written by Brian McCauley
Friday, 15 October 2010 08:00

Two of the biggest issues facing youths these days are childhood obesity and bullying, and Cottonwood Elementary School in Paola is about to institute a program that could help tackle both problems.

Thanks to an impressive stretch of state teacher of the year finalists, Cottonwood Elementary had enough funds to pay for a new program, and …
Applications Open for General Mills Foundation 2011 Champions for Healthy Kids Grant Program.

Grants of $10,000 will be awarded to community-based groups working to develop creative ways to help youth adopt a balanced diet and physically active lifestyle.

Deadline: December 15, 2010

Download Grant Application

Grant Writing Tips
Join us on October 26, 2010 at 2:00 PM EDT, 1:00 PM CDT, 12:00 PM MDT, 11:00 AM PDT for a KABOOM sponsored webinar titled “Recess: It's Child's Play”. Peaceful Playgrounds a longtime advocate for all children’s Right to Recess will present on the topic of the value of recess. Peaceful Playground creator and founder Melinda Bossenmeyer says, “Recess matters!” It provides opportunities for cultural exchange, solitary play, reduction of anx…
Cellular phones, global internet access, satellite television, and online gaming systems have transformed our everyday world into Marshal McLuhan’s electronic global village. Technology has now entered all areas of children’s lives: home, school, and toys. A new film by a Norwegian-born film maker Tonje Hessen Schei entitled “Play Again” takes an in-depth look at the virtual world vs. natural world and its effect on children’s outdoor free-play.…
Contributed by JC Boushh This week I have been focusing on old-fashion play and the consequences we face when we do not allow children every opportunity to play. I reside in Southern California, which in my opinion has some of the nicest weather in the country year round, but to astonishment I have visited numerous child care centers were at the slightest sign of overcast skies or rain showers the kids are corralled inside to ride out the storm.…
Contributed by JC BoushhA new research report issued by the Health and Safety Executive and Play England indicates that it is perfectly normal for children to get slight injuries while playing on playgrounds. The report states that part of play is grazed and skinned knees. We want playgrounds to be safe, but there has to be an element of risk and challenge associated with it otherwise the playground is boring and uncreative. Many parents today a…
The LiveRider iPhone app and bike kit is meant to be the equivalent of the dashboard of your car, but on your bike.

The app lets you keep track of how far you have gone, how fast you are currently going and even lets you keep Google Maps handy in case you get lost. You might be able to do some of these features with just using Google Maps GPS, but you couldn't track your ride to the extent that LiveRider could. You can even put it in ghost mo…
Contributed by JC Boushh An article by Gordon Clark in THE PROVINCE titled “We modern parents are safety freaks” had me reminiscing about my childhood in the 1970’s. At that time my parents, specifically my mother because my father was at work, allowed me to play outside in the rear yard where we had two large acacia trees growing and I was allowed to wander around the neighborhood without to many restrictions. Looking back at the amount of free…
Employer-sponsored exercise is a big part of the U.S. National Physical Activity Plan, a cooperative effort by a number of health and fitness organizations to promote physical activity in public settings such as businesses, schools and churches, according to HealthDay reporter Dennis Thompson on September 28, 2010.

Adult recess would involve a 10-minute break in the workday, when employees would be led through a series of fun routines involving …
Parenting the home of Parenting and Baby Talk Magazines included an article entitled, "Why Kids Really Need Recess".

It is a nice article filled with stories of parents who advocated to bring back recess in their school. At the end of the article is a list of resources and suggestions on how to get back recess.

What you need to know to fight for your child's right to play midday.

1. Get informed. Arm yourself with plenty of resear…
Target has announced 1 billion dollars in support of reading and education by the year 2015. This support will target reading by helping start reading pledges, the purchase of books, and community reading centers across the nation. Statistic have shown that only 3 out of 4 children graduate from high school, and those graduation rates in African-American and Hispanic communities are even lower. Target hopes to change these statistics by helping …
Sun Media Times article Sept. 30, 2010

Elm School in Burr Ridge is using the Peaceful Playground program, purchased with the help of a grant from the District 181 Foundation.

Peaceful Playgrounds complements the work the staff already had been doing on helping children solve conflicts, specifically during recess.

The program kit includes directions and stencils to draw the markings for a wide variety of games, such as hopscotch, ball hopscotch, fou…
Contributed by JC Boushh The decline in physical activity and a sedentary lifestyle has led to a rise in childhood obesity. Free-play and recess it turns out may play a critical role in reversing the obesity trend in children. Researchers from Children's Hospital Boston and the University of Massachusetts have been studying and monitoring the physical activity levels of children during recess and discovered that different recess games produc…
What a fun playground these school and community members painted!

Peaceful Playgrounds components explained here.
October 23rd is Make A Difference Day.

A great organization to connect to Hands On Network connects volunteers with programs across Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino.

This is a great list of 33 ways people can support/contribute to your school:
1. Assist a classroom (support a teacher)
2. Coach a sports team
3. Tutor
4. Mentor a student
5. Teach job and/ or professional skills
6. Start a School Club: Books; Music; Drama; Art; Writing; Ho…
The Department of Education posted the new PEP grant winners for 2010 earlier today. Congratulations to all the districts that secured the grants.
by Andrea Bossenmeyer

A great free resource came into my inbox today. We all know we should eat at least 4-5 servings of fruits and veggies everyday. Here's a great way to find locally grown across US & Canada. The Eat Well Guide® is a free online directory featuring over 22,000 listings where anyone can search for fresh, locally grown and sustainably produced food.

And if you live in Wisconsin Farm Aid is having a 25th Bday Celebration.

Related from the Hero Construction Company Newsletter: Thanks Matt for sharing......

October has been set aside for preventing bullying. The Teaching Tolerance website has a documentary accompanied by lesson plans and staff trainings. They'll send it to you free if you sign up at their website.

Featured Articles on Bullying.

Bullying Prevention. Life's lessons in good and evil.

Why bullying programs succeed or fail.
A new study by the World Health Organization (WHO) has named video games as one of the major drivers behind the growing global challenge that is childhood obesity.

The report looked at childhood obesity from a global perspective which stated that one third of kids across the world are now classified as obese. The study blamed this growing trend on a sedentary lifestyle. Only 25 per cent of boys and just 15 per cent of girls are said to get the r…
In many California school cafeterias, there's no water available to drink.

Hard to believe but true. Drinking water is not available in many school cafeterias throughout CA.

A California bill requiring schools to offer drinking water at no charge to students has passed the Senate and Assembly and awaits the governor's signature — a fairly sure thing because the governor sponsored the bill, according to the Los Angeles Times.

I'm glad …
A new Bullying Survey is available for download from the National Association of Sport and Physical Education website. It was designed specifically for use in physical education settings.

The Bullying Awareness Survey is an anonymous activity that can be used as an instant activity at the beginning of a class, or a closure activity as students are finishing up a lesson, according to the NASPE website.

Featured articles on Bullying:

Bullying Prev…
A recent "Well" blog posting from New York Times Blogger, Gretchen Reynolds ask, Can exercise make kids smarter?

In her blog she suggests that researchers showed that fit children had significantly larger basal ganglia, a key part of the brain that aids in maintaining attention and “executive control,” or the ability to coordinate actions and thoughts crisply.

The study groups consisted of children of similar socioeconomic backgrounds…
Listen in on a great debate on Structured VS Non-Structured Recess at BAM Radio.

Join Rae Pica Is structured recess the way to go? Will it mean more activity or less initiative? Listen & decide!: http://tinyurl.com/ydjgbmq
Peaceful Playgrounds September Issue of the Grants Newsletter is now available.
Video- Boston area school cuts back on recess.

Another school district is eliminating morning recess in an attempt to raise test scores.

For an education system this is an uneducated response. Here's why recess is important:

Schools role in the childhood obesity crisis.

Why Play?

Head Start Body Start in Body Building?

Recess on the Up Swing
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation has a new "Be Well Booklet" which consists of messages from Mom's about leading healthier lives. It is free to download at BEWELLBOOK.ORG.

The booklet is available in both English and Spanish. It is available in hardcopy from Amazon or the download is free.

Bulk orders of 10 or more are available free of charge thanks to the generosity of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. The resource…
By Blake Taylor

Take a minute to think back to your childhood school days and, more precisely, the part called recess. What do you remember about it?

I would guess that you recall having fun and playing games that used your imagination and creativity.

Unfortunately, in many schools in Kansas, there is a startling trend of taking away morning and/or afternoon recess to spend more time in the classroom. Some administrators believe that their school&#…
The "Texas Youth Fitness Study," provides an in-depth analysis and evaluation of data collected through the state-mandated health-related fitness testing of all public school children in Texas in grades 3 through 12.

A key finding was the link between higher physical fitness test achievement is related to higher state academic test scores and higher attendance, fewer negative school incidents.

Reliability and validity of large-scale te…
Healthy Schools Campaign has a new campaign to make play part of the school day. Their two-day campaign to bring back recess is well underway! With the help of Groupon and The Point, HSC is helping individuals team up and make recess a reality for Chicago school children.

The non-profit Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC) has organized thousands of parents and caught the attention of top Chicago Public School officials in its quest to bring physical…
A new study finds a link between children's performance on standardized tests in reading and math and their fitness performance on the Fitness gram.

According to an article in the Shreveport Times, The Picard Center for Child Development and Lifelong Learning analyzed results of Fitnessgram tests taken by more than 25,000 students in 15 Louisiana school districts in the 2009-10 school year. The tests measure body mass index, body strength, fl…
Contributed by JC Boushh The Cincinnati Enquirer recently posted an article “More Students Feel Lunchtime Crunch” investigating the growing issue of shortened school lunch times. Inquiries to parents throughout the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area showed a consensus among parents that many school lunch periods had been shortened by as much as 10 minutes. Students complained that there was not enough time for them to get in line to r…