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Daily blog on topics of childhood obesity, physical education, recess, nutrition, playgrounds, grants and more.

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Check out the Play Nice archives.
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Issue: #6 June 2010

This month's newsletter provides articles on:
  1.  Shortening the school year spreads,
  2.  Study: School recess improves classroom behavior,
  3.  Disadvantaged preschoolers lack motor skills, 
  4.  Recess not ritalin
  5.  U.S. Map Stencil Winners
Shortening the school year spreads
Furlough Days
banner not newsletter

The emerging body of research suggests that expanding instructional time is as effective as other commonly discussed educational interventions intended to boost learning. Is shortening the school year a savings we can really afford?

Advocates for physical education and physical activity show concern.

"Fewer days in the classroom could mean even less time devoted to the 'non essential' curriculum, those subjects that aren't tested," said Debra Harris, a researcher for the Center for Education Policy. "Students will probably spend less time learning about art and music. Even P.E. will take a hit."

Art, music and physical education have already suffered tremendous cut backs in scheduling and even program elimination in some cases due to the No Child Left Behind emphasis on math and reading.

Never mind what is becoming a compelling body of research linking physical activity to academic performance. The most recent is CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) release of a new report entitled The Association Between School-Based Physical Activity, Including Physical Education, and Academic Performance, on April 14, 2010.

The report indicates that school-based physical activity may help improve students' grades and test scores and positively affect other factors that influence academic achievement. The report also concludes that adding time during the school day for physical activity does not appear to take away from academic performance.[iii]

Read the Peaceful Playgrounds Featured Article entitled: Shortening the School Year.

Study: School recess improves classroom behavior
Recess Benefits
Recess benefits

Yet another study  is showing that school recess plays an important role in school success for children. Recently a research focus has centered on the connection between recess/physical activity and academic performance. A study released February in Pediatrics documented the positive relationship between recess and improved classroom behavior.
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Disadvantaged preschoolers lack motor skills
Motor Skill Development
preschool motor skills
We knew that disadvantaged urban preschoolers often arrive at school behind their peers academically. A new study also indicates that they arrive behind and lacking in basic motor skill development as well.

This is particularly important today as the childhood obesity epidemic continues to grow. Less skilled children are often less likely to try new gross motor activities fearing failure resulting in less active children.

One of the studies authors said it best, "These fundamental motor skills -- running and catching and throwing and kicking -- are the movement ABCs," Goodway said.

Or another way to look at it is, "If children don't learn the ABCs, they can't read. And if they don't learn basic motor skills they won't participate in sports or exercise. That's the problem we may be facing with the children in this study."
Recess not Ritalin
I ran across this interesting article from the Huffington Post called,
Attention Deficit Disorder: Ritalin Or Recess?  I blogged about it here.

It explores the relationship between recess and ADHD and reviews the CDC report that I referred to in my blog on April 20.

You might remember that I referred to the April 15 release by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new report on School-based physical activity, including physical education and its association with academic performance.
U.S. Map Stencil Winners

The following schools havebanner not newsletter won the free U.S. Map Playground stencil from Peaceful Playgrounds.

Please contact our office to claim your prize at 877-444-9888 or email us at [email protected].

School:               Timberwood Park Elementary
City:                    San Antonio, TX
Submitted By:     Summer Gault

School:               Julesburg Elementary
City:                    Julesburg, CO
Submitted By:     Mary Rice

School:                Kennesaw Charter
City:                     Kennesaw, GA
Submitted By:     Judy Osborne
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.  2010  All Rights Reserved.
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Offer Expires: June 30, 2010                   Call for more information or brochure 877-444-9888.