Right to Recess Campaign Toolkit
Despite mounting evidence that kids need an outlet to blow off steam, learn to interact with others and get the exercise they need, nearly 40 percent of American elementary schools have either eliminated or are considering eliminating recess. Sept.

Peaceful Playgrounds Comprehensive Package Introduced The new Comprehensive Program Kit Package is everything you need to create and implement a Peaceful Playground at y…
The 2009 year was another successful and satisfying year at Peaceful Playgrounds. In the final two days of 2009 we will share a quick overview highlighting some of our activities and services.

Ten Tips to Getting Your Grant Funded. A grant is a monetary award given by a government agency, foundation, corporation, or other entity to another body in order to plan, implement or operate a particular program or fund a particular project. Learn how …
I just finished reading a blog entitled, "Don't know much about history" written by Joanne Jacobs. She is also the author of a book called, Our School.

In honor of Joanne's blog, I'll write about the history of basketball. Do you think that's what she had in mind?

Basketball was invented in 1891 by physical education teacher James Naismith at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts. The assignment "to in…
The new Physical Education Framework for California Public Schools is out and I've attached the pdf link to download it. If you are interested in a hard copy of the document you can order it from the California Publications and Sales Office Catalog.

I am pleased that I had the opportunity to work with a group of great professionals in writing the PE Framework.
Happy Holidays. One of my favorite Christmas songs was recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary and I share it with you here today. May you light a candle this Christmas Day.

Christmas Dinner.

Christmas Dinner

(Noel Paul Stookey)

And it came to pass on a Christmas evening
While all the doors were shuttered tight
Outside standing, a lonely boy-child
Cold and shivering in the night.

On the street every window
Save but one was gleaming bright
And to this window wa…
While childhood obesity rates increase, opportunities for students to be active have decreased. Kids are less active than ever. This not only affects their health, but also their performance in class. Physical activity programs are linked to stronger academic achievement, increased concentration and improved math, reading and writing test scores.

Peaceful Playgrounds partnered with the Alliance for Healthier Generation to offer Alliance Schools f…
A new study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine finds that the majority of the nation’s Head Start programs report doing more to support healthy eating and physical activity than is required by existing federal regulations. Head Start is the nation’s largest federally funded early childhood education program, serving one million low-income preschool students, 30 percent of whom are obese or overweight.

Study findings.

Perhaps its…
Jan, one of the Peaceful Playgrounds Grant Writers found this heart warming video about good sportsmanship.

A true story well-worth watching and passing along.....................

Ck out more "responsibility" films from Liberty Mutual.
A new Northwestern University study suggests that American parents should ease up on antibacterial soap and perhaps allow their little ones a romp or two in the mud --- or at least a much better acquaintance with everyday germs.

The research suggests that inflammatory systems may need a higher level of exposure to common everyday bacteria and microbes to guide their development. "In other words, inflammatory networks may need the same type o…
"[Classroom management] is probably one of the things that's least understandable and most complex about teaching. This is the hardest skill to master."

-- Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, The Los Angeles Times, December 14, 2009.

Check out this week's LA Times article on : Controlling a classroom isn't as easy as ABC
A new study has found that the greater the cardiovascular fitness, the higher the cognitive scores at age 18.

Further, "The study found that having better cardiovascular health as a teenager was linked to not only higher scores on intelligence tests, but more education and a higher income years down the road."

The study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.
One of the recommendations that the Commission to Prevent Childhood Obesity presented to the Governor and the New Hampshire Department of Education is reinstate the Physical Education and Health Coordinator at the state level.

Click here for the additional recommendations from the commission.
Here's a heart warming story in light of the season.

This is an article about a good man. This is not about a rich man or a famous man or a man given to social airs.......

All Jack Anderson asked was that you paid him respect and pay attention. Jack like many coaches and educators realized early on that his influence would be far reaching. He was one of those teachers who understood,

No written word, no spoken plea,

Can tell the kids what they…
By Tammy Marashlian
Signal Staff Writer
661-259-1234 x525
Posted: Dec. 12, 2009 8:14 p.m.
POSTED Dec. 13, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Hardly any kids were playing tether ball. There were no lines for handball.

Music was blasting pop and dance tunes, but during a recent lunch period, the blacktop playground at Rosedell Elementary School was nearly empty.

The nearly 650 students were spending their lunch racing around the school’s grassy …
Children & Nature resources
Compiled by:
Amy Pertschuk
Managing Director
Children & Nature Network

Links To Families & Nature Resources

Children & Nature Network

Hooked on Nature

Nature Circles

Nature Rocks

Passport to Adventure—REI

Green Spoken Here—ACA

NWF's Green Hour
Play England has released a new report called, "Play for Change." It is a review of play, policy and practice in England. Play for a change, by Stuart Lester and Wendy Russell of the University of Gloucestershire, is published in three formats: a 270-page full research report, a 60-page summary, and a 4-page introductory briefing paper.

A copy of the report can be downloaded for free from the Play England website.

Interested in more inf…
If you are writing grants and need health and fitness statistics then check out the Play Think blog by J.R. Atwood. His post on Data Mining: We've got your numbers cites two such data banks.


Exercising the mind and the body-J.R. Atwood

* Kidsdata.org offers a tremendous amount of data from all counties, cities, and school districts in California related to the health and well-being of children. Bonus: all information on the site…
To: Peaceful Playgrounds
This is the first year that we have used the Peaceful Playground program at my school (Mountain View School, East Longmeadow, MA). It is going very well, however, as the snow finally starts to fly we find ourselves struggling to know how to keep the program running as the fields become off limits for children who are not dressed appropriately and the playground gets more crowded and covered in snow and ice.

Do you have…
In the December issue of Educational Leadership you'll find a great article on physiologically why we over-eat. It is called, "Finding Our Way Back to Healthy Eating: A Conversation with David A. Kessler."

Kessler points out that "forty or 50 years ago, the U.S. food industry shifted from food that was locally grown to a highly interdependent food distribution network that had many advantages in terms of cost and food safety. …
NASPE provides many resources for principals and other school administrators including tools to observe and evaluate physical education programs and teachers, analyze the physical education curriculum at their school/school district, research their state’s physical education standards and strengthen school policies regarding physical education/physical activity. NASPE also provides a set of suggested job interview questions for prospective physi…
Toys, Play and Young Children Action Guide is now available and FREE for downloading.

This new guide is just in time for Christmas and give you pointers for choosing "Toys of Value" and "Toys and Toy Trending to Avoid." The guide also includes ideas for creating a Shoe Box Gift around different themes and suggestions for what you might include in the shoe box.

According to their website, "TRUCE is a national group of ed…
Larry Sanger, the co-founder of Wikipedia, has launched a new educational venture for teachers, parent, and students aged 3-18 years-old. It's called WatchKnow.org. Billed as “YouTube meets Wikipedia,” WatchKnow has so far organized more than 11,000 of the nearly 7 million education-related videos available on the Internet.

WatchKnow is both a resource for users and also a non-profit, online community that encourages everyone to collect, c…
From Whitter Daily News
By Tracy Garcia, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/25/2009

"It's something I read about on the Internet and it grabbed my eye," said Principal Marla Duncan, who said the 575-student campus had been fundraising for years to get new playground equipment.

"But we raised money not knowing how expensive (the equipment) is, along with the installation," she said.

"And since we couldn't afford to put more equi…

(As of November 20, 2009)

This document lists virtually all programs and competitions under which the Department (we) has invited or expects to invite applications for new awards and provides actual or estimated deadline dates for the transmittal of applications under these programs. The lists are in the form of charts -- orga…
Link to December Play Nice Newsletter. This month's newsletter provides information on:
1. The importance of Preschool Play,
2. Service Learning Project on Peaceful Playgrounds,
3. Guidelines for Healthy Preschoolers,
4. A guide to Talking About Food and Physical Activity,
5. A Move It! School Kit,
6. The debate over chocolate milk in schools, and an
7. Article on how one Washington district brought Peaceful Playgrounds to all 10 district sch…
A parent at a Bakersfield City School is asking the city school district to pay $19,000 after his daughter fell off the monkey bars and broke her wrist. This is not the first parent to file this kind of claim. Past Bakersfield City School Board meeting agendas show other parents have filed similar claims.

While it's not uncommon to fall off the monkey bars, the parent contends that the school district is responsible for his daughter's bro…
Black Friday. Where did that come from? In California we call the day after Thanksgiving, "the day after Thanksgiving."

Wikipedia defines it as: Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving in the United States, which is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season. The term dates back to at least 1966, although its usage was primarily on the East coast. The term has become more common in other parts of the country s…
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Feeding and fitness for preschoolers

Harvard University researchers propose these guidelines for healthy preschoolers. Aimed at child-care centers, they also are good goals for parents.

• Two hours of daily physical activity, half in structured play and half in active free play

• No more than 30 minutes of sitting at a stretch

• Only 1 percent or fat-free milk for kids 2 and older

• No more than 6 ounces of 100 percent juice a day

• No sugar-sweetened…
1. What do playgrounds look like in New Zealand? Check out the "Keep Me Smiling" Blog post on playgrounds.

2. You might want to take a look at the new kit for schools called Move It. It is a free download and designed to get kids active and reduce the risk of diabetes.

3. EPA Accepting Applications for Environmental Education Grant Funding
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is accepting grant applications for a total…
Lincoln University's recent decision to require students to undergo a physical examination before graduation has upset some students, the Lincolnian reports. If a student's body mass index surpasses 30, he or she must complete a physical education class in order to graduate.

Opponents of the requirement say the university is discriminating against obese people. More on new requirement...
CKSD bringing peace to the playground

A Federal Physical Education for Progress (PEP) Grant provided Central Kitsap schools money to install Peaceful Playgrounds games and markings at all 12 elementary schools in the district.

CKSD hopes the changes also will help in the classroom.

“If the kids are not all wound up, then the teachers will have more time for instruction,” Martin said.

The district recently received $50,000 for equipment on the playgr…
Recess Before Lunch schedule is catching on. Here's an article from Southern CA regarding their switch to the recess first schedule.

Don't forget to check out the Peaceful Playgrounds Featured Article on Recess Before Lunch and join us for a webinar on the topic called Recess Before Lunch 5 Steps to Success.Registration Link
Hardyston The Sussex County YMCA is running a twice monthly “recess” program for home-schooled families in northern New Jersey. What a novel idea. It is offered for an hour at lunchtime 2 Thursday's a month. Students can use the facilities which include a pool, playground and picnic area. Seems like a great service to home schooled kids and parents.

Let's hope this idea spreads.
General Mills Foundation awards 50 grants of $10,000 each to community-based groups that develop creative ways to help youth adopt a balanced diet and physically active lifestyle.

Online Applications Due: January 15, 2010

Award Recipients Announced: May 2010

Online Grant Application or General Mills Grant Website

General Mills has selected Peaceful Playgrounds as a MODEL PROGRAM FOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND NUTRITION.

*** Are applying for this g…
Should schools serve chocolate milk? A recent story in the Chicago Tribune looks at the question and examines district policies across the nation.

When an IL school district banned flavored milk from its lunch menus, a group of 5th grade students persuaded administrators to give it another chance. Now the sweetened drinks are served on "Flavored Fridays" as the district tries to decide whether the benefits of calcium and vitamin D are…
This video is of a 9-11 Service Learning Project from the Lewis-Clark Service Corps (division of Americorps) in Idaho. The university kinesiology department in conjunction with the service learning organization painted the Peaceful Playgrounds games and markings for a local Christian school called, Corner Stone Christine School. Watch the video of the painting and children's experience with Peaceful Playgrounds.

Applications for Education
The Best of Us Challenge provides a fun opportunity to get kids excited about physical education challenges and compete with some of the best athletes in the world. The Best of Us Challenge also provides an opportunity for students who may not fit into the typical "athlete" mold to show-off their unique skills. Check out their website for contest rules and go for it.
Palm City Elementary PE teacher's program encourages kids to run for fitness and fun.


View the video of physical education teacher talking about motivating her students to run so that they will be successful at the mile run component in the state physical fitness test. The running club is not only motivating students to run more but also causing students to think about thei…
School-based physical education plays a key role in curbing obesity and improving fitness among adolescents from low-income communities, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and UC Berkeley. The study, which identifies opportunities for adolescents to improve their health based on routine daily activities, finds that regular participation in PE class is significantly associated with greater c…
A recently released report, "Ready, Willing and Unable to Serve," states that the military had one of its best recruiting years since the draft ended in 1973. This is especially surprising since about 75 percent of the country's 17- to 24-year-olds are ineligible for military service, largely because they are poorly educated, overweight and have physical ailments that make them unfit for the armed forces, according to the report i…
De Kalb County School Board voted to reinstate recess as a result of a parent petition. While most schools held recess, it was not mandated and could be denied to a child as a punishment or canceled for the entire class due to a conflict.

Now, recess is no longer an option but a requirement and cannot be withheld from a student.

Read how other parents and concerned advocates have saved recess.

Download the Peaceful Playgrounds Right to Recess Campa…
Did you receive the November Play Nice Newsletter?

This month's newsletter provides information regarding an article on "Can Physical Education Make You Smarter", A Recess Controversy, H1N1, a recent legal ruling regarding Recess and Peaceful Playgrounds New Online Playground Supervisor Training.
A mom is peeved at an Oklahoma school which reportedly punished her son by having him stand facing a wall at recess. The parent claims that he was told to stand close enough to the wall to touch it with his nose. The punishment was for failing to finish a homework assignment.

"I think it's a horrible policy. I think it's humiliating and I think it's disgusting," the parent reported to the school. "It was extremely tra…
For some time, researchers have known that exercise changes the structure of the brain, resulting in improvements in concentration, fidgeting and creates new brain cells.

The body-mind link is well documented. But current thinking and actions (like eliminating recess and physical education) leads me to question if some decisions reflect the cliché that "our bodies exist to carry our heads around."Current thinking on the topic however, a…
A decision was reached in the legal case involving the 4th graders who were reading the Bible at recess and were told to stop. It seems a parent observed the activity and complained.

The parents of one of the Bible reading students sued with the assistance of the Alliance Defense Team . The parents sued for just one dollar, recognition that their child's rights had been violated, and an injunction against future such actions.

The school cla…
The Express Star News
Story from the Chickashanews.com
October 30, 2009

Putting the Map on Grand

Teachers, students, and PTO members at Grand Avenue Elementary recently finished a Fifty Nifty United States project.

They produced a painted outdoor map of the United States.

The concrete was provided for this large outdoor map of the United States by the Grand Avenue PTO. Peaceful Playgrounds stencils and kit were made possible by the Chickasha School Fo…
When are we too old for play? Never. At least that's the new philosophy catching on in Japan. They have found that age is just a number when it comes to having fun on a playground.

Every Friday, 79-year-old Saito and a class of senior citizens swing around on a jungle gym, made especially for the elderly, at a Tokyo park.

With fewer and fewer Japanese having children, it made sense for local governments to disassemble old children's play…
Survey for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation finds most parents willing to help schools improve food offerings and increase physical activity.

In fact, vast majority of parents want schools to limit students’ access to high-calorie chips, sodas and candy and to offer them opportunities for physical activity throughout the day, a new survey by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation shows.

The national survey, indicates that nearly eight in…
Are you receiving the WOWS Newsletter from the Healthy Kids Challenge?
It is a great resource and full of ideas and tips for keeping kids healthy. Below is a sample of a item that was included in this week's Wednesday Wows Newsletter.

....Easy HEAR-SEE-DO action tips each week

HEAR .... Provide a message to increase awareness of knowledge/skills
SEE .... Show people HOW to make healthy changes
DO .... Help people practice and make healthy chang…
Advocates for school-based physical activity programs argue that allocating time for daily physical education does not adversely impact academic performance. In fact, according to seven studies reviewed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and released in a policy brief called Active Education, the effects of physical activity on elementary students resulted in improvements in academic performace, focus and classroom behavior.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the 20th Anniversary of the school where I was principal. The school and community is similar in so many ways to school and community that I experienced. We were blessed with caring parents, dedicated teachers and wonderful students.

Curran Elementary holds a special place in my heart. I begin testing my playground theories, experimenting with playground improvements and looking at students interaction…
Image from Washington Post Oct. 21, 2009

The White House rolled out "The Healthy Kids Fair" this week in Washingtion DC with First Lady Michelle Obama jump roping her way to good health.

The First Lady has lead the way in promoting healthy eating and exercise for children. Remember the White House Garden? The event this week is part of a new initiative called, "The Healthier U.S. School Challenge".

And the goal of this chall…
Stop Bullying Now has a new website with additional resources.

You may be interested in their chart which gives you current laws and legislation in regards to bullying.

You may also be interested in their new page on major research and studies on bullying.

Other articles on bullying:

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

Why Bullying Programs Succeed or Fail.
Dr. Oz swings through Detroit with opinions on fitness, health policy and Oprah.

A version of this story appears on page 14A of the Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009, print edition of the Detroit Free Press.

Dr. Oz the new TV personality with his own show launched from Oprah appearances weighed in on the topic of Obesity in children: "The most important thing we can do is make it easier for kids to exercise," says Oz. He's in favor of fitness-…
Edible Gardens are all about teaching kids to grow and cook. On their website you can download a number of free programs, competitions and hot tips for developing your own edible playground. The initiative originated in the UK and is similar to the School Garden Movement here in the U.S.

Here is a couple of samples of some free information from the website:

Part of the sow it grow it set of activities, students grow grass seeds in a tube and me…
October 19-23rd

HSBS will hold its inaugural Take It Outside! week on October 19 through 23 encouraging Head Start programs across the nation to get outside, connect with the natural world, and increase physical activity. HSBS will provide programs with ideas to celebrate Take It Outside! week including activity ideas, tips for facilitating play, and suggestions for enhancing the environment. Information is available in both English and Spanish. …