Many of the most respected sources in health and education recommend Dr. Melinda Bossenmeyer’s innovative Peaceful Playgrounds and We Count! Student Wellness Programs have received playground program recognition from a variety of organizations.

Peaceful Playgrounds has received numerous playground program recognition awards including being  recognized as a fully NCLB Compliant Program. The Federal No Child Left Behind Act encourages the use of programs and approaches that work to protect students and teachers, encourage discipline and personal responsibility.

The National School Safety Center Report demonstrates the program’s safety, conflict resolution and violence prevention results.

Over 8,000 schools have discovered these are the most effective solutions for playground safety and childhood obesity. Now is the time to request a Peaceful Playgrounds Product Brochure for your school or one of your colleagues.

Connecticut State Department of Education Healthy School Environment Resources – Recess 1. Peaceful Playgrounds., 2. Recess Before Lunch, Peaceful Playgrounds., 3. Right to Recess Campaign. Peaceful Playgrounds., 4. 60 Alternatives to Withholding Recess. Peaceful Playgrounds, January 2007. Includes list of 55 rewards and 7 discipline alternatives.

“Anyone who still bears psychic scars from childhood games of dodgeball will rejoice to learn that many schools are working actively to introduce children to nonviolent games of cooperation. MediationChannelSupport and inspiration for these kinds of efforts often comes from organizations like Peaceful Playgrounds, whose goals include reducing injuries, decreasing violence and bullying, and encouraging educational and purposeful play. A conflict resolution component forms part of the overall Peaceful Playgrounds program.” – MediationBlog.


Best in Class! – Playground Program Recognition Award

 Playground Program Recognition AwardAction for Healthy Kids
National experts rated excellent! Peaceful Playgrounds addresses a number of national standards. “Their rapid expansion attests that the approach is both practical and a realistic intervention for schools interested in this cost effective childhood obesity intervention that gets kids moving.”

The NGC is a public resource for evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. NGC is an initiative of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NGC was originally created by AHRQ in partnership with the American Medical Association and the American Association of Health Plans (now America’s Health Insurance Plans [AHIP]).

There is little consistent data available on time spent by elementary and middle school students in MVPA while on the playground. Estimates range from 5% to 40% depending on the age and gender of the child.

Several studies have shown that the following low cost interventions on playgrounds can increase MVPA. While research remains somewhat limited, these interventions are easy to implement, show positive results, and are low in cost.

To increase time spent in MVPA during unstructured recess time:

  • Have the physical education teacher instruct all students on proper use of playground equipment.
  • Offer prompts and encouragement for activity. Suggested prompts to engage students:
    • How many times can you jump the rope in one minute?
    • How many times can you go across the horizontal ladder?
    • How many baskets can you make in one minute?
  • Increase the available permanent equipment on the playground, such as basketball hoops, volleyball nets, tennis courts.
  • Increase the number of balls on the playground.
  • Paint playground equipment with bright fluorescent colors.
  • Paint playground markings on the playground surface. Examples: letter squares, mazes, hopscotch squares, castles, pirate ships, ladders, giant clock faces.
  • Use pre-developed design templates, specifically designed to increase physical activity on the playground.

Peaceful Playgrounds is a recommended program for playground markings that increase children’s physical activity levels at recess.”

Increasing physical activity in schools: kindergarten through eighth grade 


Make Movement a Part of Every Day – The Alliance for a Healthier Generation recommends a structured, safe and inclusive environment on the playground by coordinating a variety of schoolyard sports and games during recess.

The Disparity Reducing Advances Project – The Institute for Alternative Futures has identified Peaceful Playgrounds as a promising advance for bringing health gains to the poor and underserved and lowering the risk of childhood obesity through their comprehensive playground programs. – School Based Wellness Programs Report

The Vermont Healthy Schools Resource for Physical Activity – The Vermont Department of Health and Education & Action for Healthy Kids recommends Peaceful Playgrounds as a National Resource for school playground blueprints to help introduce children and school staff to the many choices of activities available on playgrounds and field areas.

The Strategic Alliance for Healthy Food and Activity Environments  – Strategic Alliance is a coalition of nutrition and physical activity advocates in California. School Activity Environments that provide equipment and playground facilities for active play.

Promising Practices in After School – The PPAS System is an effort to find and share things that are working in after school programs. Peaceful Playgrounds is a physical activity program that has shown to decrease playground injuries, decrease bullying, and increase children’s physical activity levels.

Peace and Justice Resource Center – Highlighting organizations and individuals, committed to work for peace in our community. Peaceful Playgrounds: an Elementary Teacher’s Guide to Recess Games and Markings.

Willmar Public Schools District – Steps to a Healthier Willmar is supporting the Peaceful Playgrounds program at Lincoln Learning Center and Jefferson Elementary School.

Add Stencils to Playground for Recess and Classroom Use! – I’m partial to Peaceful Playgrounds because of the wonderful activity books and training that accompanies the whole thing for the teachers. It also comes with sample press releases, specific instructions and fabulous customer service to answer those last minute painting questions!

“Since 1995, the Peaceful Playgrounds program has prevented broken limbs, bloody noses and other playground injuries at E. Hale Curran Elementary School.” – The program brings the Murrieta school a statewide award from the California School Boards Association.

 Spotlight – Outstanding School Playground

School Recess Playground AwardCentral Elementary School
Demonstrating their commitment to a safe, bully-free, respectful community that facilitates the social and emotional growth of children, Central Elementary School introduces an integrated approach that highlights Peaceful Playgrounds.


Recent Success Stories:
Field puts “Peace” of Mind into Playgrounds

Looking around the Field School playground, an observer can see a variety of activities going on–four square, scoop games, scattered circles, running bases and hopscotch. Disagreements are settled, not with loud arguments, but with constructive talk and sometimes “rock, paper, scissors.” This is Peaceful Playground at work. Last summer in sweltering heat, teachers, students, and parents collaborated to create the colorfully painted Field School Peaceful Playground. The purpose of Peaceful Playground is to provide activity for all students, ownership in civil behavior, and provide a safe recess time for every Field School student…
read this entire success story

Awards & Endorsements

Healthy Schools Campaign – This independent leading authority held a nationwide search for new and innovative products to help create healthier school environments for students, staff and faculty. National School Innovation Showcase Winner

Action for Healthy Kids  – A Nationwide Nonprofit Organization working to improve children’s nutrition and increase physical activity. Best in Class awarded by a panel of experts representing 27 national organizations and government agencies, based on ten criteria. Program Evaluation & Conclusions

The American Association for Leisure and Recreation  – The American Association for Leisure and Recreation Friend of Recreation Award is presented to an individual, group, or organization that has demonstrated meritorious contribution benefiting AALR or its programs. Award

California School Boards Association – CSBA believes that identifying exemplary programs serves as a way to share information about effective educational strategies with districts and county offices of education throughout the state. Golden Bell Award

Sharing Success – Sharing Success is publicly funded by the New York State Legislature to identify and disseminate successful educational programs and practices statewide. The Peaceful Playgrounds Program meets their rigorous evaluation standards. Profile

“The Peaceful Playgrounds concept takes a resource most playgrounds already have – open space – and transforms blacktops and fields into play areas for different age groups with activities such as tetherball, wall ball, and Frisbee golf.” – Louisiana Department of Education”

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