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Issue: #12 December 2009

This month's newsletter provides information on the importance of Preschool Play, a  Service Learning Project on Peaceful Playgrounds, Guidelines for Healthy Preschoolers, A guide to Talking About Food and Physical Activity, A Move It! School Kit, the debate over chocolate milk in schools, and an article on how one Washington district brought Peaceful Playgrounds to all 10 district schools through a Federal Physical Education for Progress Grant (PEP).
Preschool Play Supported
Importance of Play
Study "Play" Develops Social Responsibility
Locally and across the nation, time for play has been increasingly squeezed out of preschool and kindergarten.  The reason given is that schools, bent on raising student achievement, especially among poor and minority students.  The  focus on literacy and math skills for children at ever-younger ages is taking center stage.   But is this a wise decision? 

Research has shown that by age  23, people who attended play-based preschools were eight times less likely to need treatment for emotional disturbances than those who went to preschools where direct instruction prevailed. Graduates of the play-based preschools were three times less likely to be arrested for committing a felony.
"It's not that direct instruction caused delinquency," said Larry Schweinhart, director of the HighScope Research Foundation in Ypsilanti, Mich., which conducted the study and developed the play-based curriculum that Arlington uses in all 31 of its preschool classes for low-income children. "But it wasn't preventing it. It wasn't giving kids an opportunity to develop socially."

Why Play?  For Additional information, don't forget to check out the Peaceful Playgrounds Featured article on Play.
Service Learning Project Serves Kids and Learning
Service Learning 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, Cornerstone Christine School. Watch the video of the painting and children's experience with Peaceful Playgrounds.

TV News Coverage of Peaceful Playgrounds Schools.
Guidelines for Healthy Preschoolers
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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 beverages

Serving sizes
� Serve about 1 tablespoon of each food type per year of age
� Teach children to start with small portions, then add more if still hungry
� Don't insist on a clean plate

For more, see

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How to Talk About Food and Physical Activity

Mo Project
MO Project is working to create healthy communities by changing systems that affect two of our most basic needs: food and physical activity. The main way we're doing it is encouraging youth to think about food and physical activity systems.

Download How to Talk About Food and Physical Activity
Physical Activity Guidelines for After School Programs Activity Guidelines for After School Programs were developed in CA.  The guidelines are available as a free download.
After School Guidelines for Physical Activity Programs download.

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Move It School Kit

The Move It ! And Reduce Your Risk for Diabetes School Kit has been revised and recently released to assist schools in developing programs to help students lower their risk for diabetes.  The kit was designed to encourage increased physical activity in the school newsletter grantssetting.

� Three professional, customizable poster files and three PDF files of posters
� Youth and diabetes fact sheets that can be used as a teaching aid
� Move It! School model programs
� CD-ROM that provides all materials
� Template News Release
� The Eagle books ordering Information Flyers (series of four books brought to life by wise animal characters about growing strong and preventing diabetes)
� Tips for kids information sheet
� How to order pedometers flyer
� Resource list of additional materials for American Indians and Alaska Natives

To learn more about the NDEP or to order a Move It! kit or other NDEP materials, visit or call 1-888-693-NDEP (6337).

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PEP Grant Brings Peaceful Playgrounds to Central Kitsap Schools

PEP GrantA Federal Physical Education for Progress (PEP) Grant provided Central Kitsap schools with 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 playgrounds. Ted Vaughn, physical education specialist for CKSD, said the grant was part of a federal $727,950 Carol M. White Physical Education Program grant used for enhancing the district's health and fitness programs throughout the schools.

At Jackson Park, four-square grids, hopscotch areas and a host of other games now dot the recess landscape. And for playground supervisor Tina Miglio, the difference is already evident.

"There's been more team interaction and more inclusion," she said. "It's definitely made a difference."

More on Central Kitsap Peaceful Playground.
Debate Continues Over Chocolate Milk in Schools
Chocolate Milk in Schools 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 worth the added sugar.

The dilemma is an example of a discussion playing out across the country, as educators try to reconcile two concerns: childhood obesity and insufficient calcium intake.

More on Chocolate Milk in Schools...
We hope you enjoyed this month's Play Nice Newsletter. Why not Forward to a Friend

Melinda Bossenmeyer
Peaceful Playgrounds, Inc.

fax  951-245-6956
[email protected]
17975 Collier Ave. Unit 5
Lake Elsinore, CA  92530

Copyright Peaceful Playgrounds, Inc.  December 2009  All Rights Reserved.
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