Volunteers sought for special playground program

RANCHO SANTA FE — Parent volunteers are needed to launch a new recess/lunch program called Peaceful Playgrounds, being implemented this year at the R. Roger Rowe Elementary and Middle School.
A survey taken last spring, polling teachers, staff and parents, assessed the climate of the Rancho Santa Fe school playground. The questions looked at were consistency with rules, leadership opportunities, youngsters feeling safe, choices of activities and personal accountability. The results indicated that most of those asked believe that students need more activities on the playground and more consistent application of the rules.
Both Kim Pinkerton, Roger Rowe kindergarten through fourth-grade principal and Suzanne Roy, Roger Rowe fifth- through eighth-grade principal, felt that Peaceful Playgrounds best served the school’s goals. The program is a system of activities painted onto the schoolyard surface. It offers hopscotch, four-square, shuffle board, box ball, tetherball, bowling, dodge ball and other games.
Results from other schools indicate the program reduces confrontations, increases motor skills, reduces injuries and maximizes playground efficiency. It was designed to put an end to tattling and conflicts that take the fun out of recess. It is also designed to maximize the number of students involved in physical activity rather than waiting in line for a turn or just standing around talking.
The program’s five components include:
—A blueprint for game markings
—A consistent set of rules
—Conflict resolution strategies
—Specific required equipment
—Consistent expectations and training
Volunteers interested in getting this program off the ground should contact Michelle Robbins at mwrobb@cox.net or Wendy Henry at wendyhenry@juno.com.

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