‘Peaceful Playground‘ recess program to be installed with Lowe’s Grant funds
Peaceful Playgrounds are collections of colorful, permanent, and inexpensive ground-based games kids love to play and that help make activity time more positive and productive. Schools can customize and design their choices according to their needs, goals, preferences, and available space. Alphabet and number grids, hopping and skipping lines, and multi-use circles and squares are just a few of the nearly 100 activities available. The program is also intended to maximize the number of students involved in physical activities, rather than waiting in line or standing around talking.
Indoor and outdoor playground markings such as those available through Peaceful Playgrounds have been shown to increase children’s physical activity levels, and are a popular intervention strategy to fight childhood obesity. In addition, their use, in conjunction with various other aspects of the program, has been found to decrease playground bullying, confrontations, and injuries.
The grant application was written by PreK-12 Executive Principal Dr. Caroline Critchlow and third-grade teacher Ms. Laurie Worthington, after being informed of its availability by Board of Education member (and active parent of three) Dr. Kristina Lantzky-Eaton.
“Our school has limited playground space for our PreK-6 students. Every grade level has recess time, and there are often issues with space, as well as limited activities,” Dr. Critchlow and Ms. Worthington wrote in the application. “The Peaceful Playgrounds recess program offers activities that can be done with limited space and will help support our Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support program, which promotes our elementary school rules: Be Safe, Be Responsible, and Be Respectful. The program teaches and supports these ideals and lessons through play. It will help our students be more active and healthy, while also instilling important peaceful behaviors.”
With the help of volunteers from the school community and Lowe’s employees, ER’s Peaceful Playground is expected to be designed and installed (in a location yet to be determined) over the summer, and staff and students trained on how to use the new games and activities in September. The additions can also be easily incorporated into the activities offered through the summer FITS (Fun in the Sun) program, for students entering grades 1-7.
For more information about Peaceful Playgrounds, go to www.peacefulplaygrounds.com.