JK Rowling: The fringe benefits of failure | Video on TED.com
Through the Sprint Character Education Grant Program, the Sprint Foundation will award grants to school districts and individual schools to fund the purchase of resource materials, supplies, equipment and software that facilitates and encourages character education among K-12 students.

Deadline: February 05, 2010
Award: $5000-$25,000
No balls at recess? Must be April 1.

In an elementary school in Ottawa, Canada it's no laughing matter. It seems the school principal banned balls saying they were dangerous and causing injury to students due to the snowy and icy conditions.

Students Moore and Lawlor have given the principal a copy of a petition to bring back balls at recess. Slater said she’ll talk with the students and their parents, but she said balls are still off lim…
Fiskars garden tools and materials such as plants, seeds, mulch, etc. to eligible gardening groups. Maximum award: $1,000 in implements and materials. Eligibility: gardens and/or gardening projects geared toward community involvement, neighborhood beautification, horticultural education, and/or sustainable agriculture.

Deadline: February 19, 2010.
Contributed by Andrea Bossenmeyer. Food/Nutrition Blogger

New York State has got a "Are You Putting On the Pounds" campaign to encourage their residents to stop drinking sugary drinks like sodas. In fact they share the statistic that drinking one can of soda every day can make you gain 10 lbs in one year. They even have a subway billboards and videos that take the fat concept literally, and are honestly quite gross to watch...See it HE…
More public schools are using FitnessGram tests to replace the Presidential Physical Fitness test, which they say can be embarrassing for some overweight or less-fit students and does little to motivate students to choose a healthier lifestyle.

FitnessGram tests were developed in 1982 by The Cooper Institute, a nonprofit health-research center. FitnessGram tracks individual students' progress toward fitness goals rather than compare student…
The ING Unsung Heroes Program Offers Grants for K-12 Educational Projects. Awards of up to $25,000 will be given to professionals working to improve student learning through new teaching methods and techniques.

Each year, 100 educators are selected to receive $2,000 to help fund their innovative class projects. Three of those are chosen to receive the top awards of an additional $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000

Applications are now available. How abou…
Photo credit: Thomas Reis Edutopia Magazine

A federal panel of health experts has issued new recommendations encouraging U.S. doctors to screen children aged 6 and older for obesity, and to offer them a referral to intensive weight management programs when necessary.

Read more......]

The new recommendations was published in the February issue of Pediatrics, and are available online now at the Pediatrics Web site.

For more on the topic of childhood …
Ohio legislators this week are discussing mandating Physical Education for all students.

Senator McCarthy and Kent State University professor Steve Mitchell said increased physical activity helps students to focus more on their studies, demonstrate better school attendance, increased test scores and have fewer disciplinary issues, during a press conference at the Ohio Statehouse Jan. 13.

And Mitchell downplayed criticism that the legislation wou…
This was a blog posting by my friend Bonnie of Bonnie's Fitware.

Online Learning Study Looks at Research

By Bonnie

Online learning is one of the fastest growing trends in educational uses of technology, according to the recently-released report Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Develo…
Great podcast on the ASCD Blog. The topic is Eric Jensen's new book, Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids' Brains and What Schools Can Do About It.

I met Eric more than 20 years ago when I picked him up at the airport for a conference in which I was on the planning committee. He was the keynote speaker at the California's State Summer PE Conference. Listening to him talk about brain research is a rare treat …
Pardon my slight deviation from our typical topics...... I must confess I'm the ultimate Olympic Fan. I watch about 14 hours a day of Olympic coverage. No kidding. When I worked the 1984 Olympics in LA they were even better than I imagined. So here's a story on Vancouver games which start in exactly 20 days. But who's counting?

Economist Daniel Johnson is remarkably accurate at making Olympic medal predictions. As a matter of fact…
My sister (a Peaceful Playgrounds grant writer) sent me these jumprope rhymes from the May 1951 magazine saved by my grandmother. Enjoy.

Little Orphan Annie
Went to buy some candy,
In she went, out she went,
Little Orphan Annie.
How many pieces did she get?

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, go upstairs.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say your prayers.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, tun off the light.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say good night.

I'm a little Dutch girl, dr…
Jamba Juice Company and The California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CAHPERD) announced today its shared mission to keep California's children healthy and active with the 2010 Jamba Jump Day(TM) event -- a mass attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the "Most People Jumping/Skipping Rope at the Same Time". On Monday, February 1, 2010, at 9am, CAHPERD and Jamba Juice will lead Californians…
Common sense tells us that a communitiy that cannot sustain the physical health of its citizens places their long-term existence at serious risk.

Opinion- Valley Voices- Fresno, CA

Retired Physical Education teacher and advocate Joe Herzog's opinion in his local newspaper. Go Joe. You make us proud.

Children struggle to learn in school, work place performance suffers and as we've seen in recent years, the military rejects almost as many …
The January Peaceful Playgrounds Grants Newsletter is now available for download. Grant ideas include:

Shade Structure Program
Starbucks Shared Planet Youth Action Grants
The Sprint Foundation - Sprint Character Education Grant Program
State Recycle Tire Playground Grant Programs
Lowe's Toolbox for Education
Peaceful Playgrounds "Learn to Play" U.S. Map Stencil Giveaway
11 Steps to a Successful Playgrounds - Monty Christiansen, CPSI

If you are building, maintaining or strive to keep all kids safe on a playground then you will find the 11 steps to a successful Playground helpful.

1. Strive to purchase equipment with high "play value"
2. Make sure your playground meets appropriate play standards
3. Have your equipment installed by a qualified installer.
4. Install and maintain sufficient safety surfacing
With mounting lawsuits and tight budgets recess is again on the chopping block at some districts despite evidence of its importance.

Free play or free form play is a type of play that we support here at Peaceful Playgrounds. People often misinterpret the organization that we provide with our many game markings and choices as "structuring" recess and incorrectly assume that we recommend that schools require participation in one of our…
In an Alabama community, financially strapped schools are holding a unique fundraiser......they are working with Play It Again Sports who will be purchasing sporting goods donations from school students. The money will be placed in a fund to replace old exercise and fitness equipment, upgrade playgrounds and support athletic programs in the Dothan City Schools.

Read more on Sports equipment trade to benefit schools.
Last month in my blog entitled, "PE Teacher leaves lasting impression decades later" I spoke of the positive effect that a physical education had on students lives. Well here's a story about the long lasting effects of a "bad" PE teacher. It seems that a negative experience early on can result in a lifetime of inactivity according to a study released this week.

The study was published in research was recently published i…
Play enthusiasts check out the Children's Play Information Service(CPIS).

(CPIS) is a specialist information resource providing information on all aspects of children’s play, focusing on school-age children. CPIS is funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Big Lottery Fund through Play England.
A small group of parents met with a group of district administrators outside of Chicago to express concerns over the school lunch menu. What they learned about bringing change to a district-wide lunch menu was a big change even for a small district.

But a Tribune examination of school food in Illinois' 10 largest districts found small positive changes are possible. Several districts serve only fruit for dessert four days of the week; some re…
This month's Play Nice newsletter provides information on the following topics:

Grant Writing Tips

A study: Smart Kids are Fit Kids

The Benefits of Outdoor Play

The recent release of the Play for Change Report

Our partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Peaceful Playgrounds News Article.
January Featured Article

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.

This month's feature article is called: Ten Tips for Getting Your Grant Funded. It includes:

General Mills Champions for Healthy Kids and Lowes Toolbox for Education grant application templates which upon request…