by Eric Schwartzberg

DAYTON, OHIO – A local elementary school is working to smooth over the rough-and-tumble aspects of recess with the Peaceful Playgrounds Program. Wyandot Early Childhood School recently implemented Peaceful Playgrounds, a research-based program that aims to teach students social skills and show staff how to organize the playground to reduce bullying, conflicts and injuries.
Developed by longtime teacher and principal Melinda Bossenmeyer of Los Angeles, the concept features more physical activity, which she said is “a much-needed intervention for the childhood obesity problem sweeping the nation.”
Students alternate each day between “Mulch Days” on the playground and “Blacktop Days” on a bus lot that now features more than two dozen games and activities created via colorful, strategically-spaced numbers, letter grids and geometric shapes.
“We’re giving a few a try and we’ll continue to add things as we understand what the children want to use,” said Principal Mary Brophy.

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