Archive for May, 2012


Integrating Physical Activity and Literature

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012
Integrating Physical Activity and Literature
The primary goal of structured physical activity time is to ensure that children engage in sufficient minutes of developmentally appropriate activity. Teachers have opportunities to enhance lessons through the integration of language arts by reading a book before a lesson, incorporating a book into a lesson, or reading a book immediately following a lesson as part of a cool-down. In an effort to keep physical activity at its highest integrate literature without giving up movement time.
Books should coordinate with lessons and can relate to one or more of the following themes:
Colors
Language Arts
Mathematics
Movement Skills and Knowledge
Nutrition
Personal Development
Science
Self Image
SocialDevelopment
For a sample lesson plan that includes literature integration, Click Here.

The primary goal of structured physical activity time is to ensure that children engage in sufficient minutes of developmentally appropriate activity. Teachers have opportunities to enhance lessons through the integration of language arts by reading a book before a lesson, incorporating a book into a lesson, or reading a book immediately following a lesson as part of a cool-down. In an effort to keep physical activity at its highest integrate literature without giving up movement time.

Books should coordinate with lessons and can relate to one or more of the following themes:

Colors

Language Arts

Mathematics

Movement Skills and Knowledge

Nutrition

Personal Development

Science

Self Image

Social Development

For a sample lesson plan that includes literature integration, Click Here.

Tips for teachers

“Where in the World are Jim and Thom?”

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

For those of you new to SPARK — or perhaps just a bio or two shy of a full SPARK deck — Drs. Jim Sallis and Thom McKenzie are SPARK’s Founding Fathers – kind of like our Washington and Jefferson.

They developed, submitted, and won the original NIH grant that launched the very first research study – called Project SPARK (Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids).  Jim thought up the acronym BTW.  Fortunately for all of us on the SPARK team, Thom and Jim are very involved today and help us “share our SPARK” around the globe.

In addition to lifelong SPARKing, they also have other professional interests including:  Changing environments (schools and communities) so they foster healthy living, advocating for quality PE and PA programs, and encouraging the development and implementation of policies that support public health goals.  In fact, they’re so busy it’s hard to keep up with them — but let’s try:

Jim, where ya been and watcha been doin’ ?

February 2012

  • Miami to consult on built environment research.  Gave talks at the medical school and school of architecture.
  • Healthy Parks Healthy People research meeting at Clemson U.  This is a big priority for the director of the national park service and a possible opportunity for training in PA promotion.
  • CAHPERD meeting in Pasadena. I was pleased to give a keynote and participate in a symposium with Thom, Monica Lounsbery and Paul Rosengard – facilitated by Nicole Smith of SDSU.  Great opportunity to promote evidence-based PE.

March

  • Spoke at obesity conference at U of Arizona. Discussed environment and policy changes to promote PA.
  • Active Living Research conference – we hosted.  Theme was reducing disparities in active living environments and policies. About 325 people attended from 30+ disciplines attended this highly active (walk the talk) conference.

April

  • Consulted with Mississippi Department of Health — my home state.  They are working hard and smart to improve health there, including many good things in schools.
  • Society of Behavioral Medicine in New Orleans.  I completed my term on their Board of Directors.

May

June

  • ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) in San Francisco. I am Vice President and on program committee.
  • RWJF childhood obesity program meeting in Princeton. We’ll all be planning how to make even bigger impacts on children.
  • Aruba for course on physical activity and public health, workshop on PA for preventing childhood obesity, and a Caribbean-wide conference on the same theme.  I will meet with the group in the health department working to implement SPARK.  It will be a busy trip.
  • BEAT (Built Environment Assessment Training) Institute in Boston. I will get to spend some quality time with Thom there.

In the Future

  • September:  PA and Public Health course in Park City, UT.
  • November:  International Conference on Physical Activity and Public Health in Sydney, Australia.

Media appearances

  • Quoted in “Is KCK’s superintendent faster than a fifth-grader?” By Dawn Bormann.  Kansas City Star.  April 6, 2012.

  • Coverage of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine special issue on GIS, featuring the Neighborhood Impact on Kids findings about childhood obesity.

  • Featured in video, “Denver: Walkable City” made by Kaiser-Permanente’s “Every Body Walk” campaign. http://www.everybodywalk.org Youtube link to video: HERE.

  • Featured in “Does Your Neighborhood Make You Fat?” By Tom Fudge. KPBS-FM.  April 6, 2012.

Thom, where ya been and watcha been doin’?

January 2012

  • Lounsbery, M. A. & McKenzie, T. L. (2012, January 5). Physical activity promotion in kinesiology: A critical need in the 21th century. In Flourishing in a Contemporary Culture, 2012 NAKPEKE Conference, San Diego.  Individually, we spoke about the need to change PE

  • McKenzie, T. L. (2012, January 25). Observing park environments in Nevada (OPEN): Study Rationale and Background. In M. Lounbery, Forum on Physical Activity and Sedentary Living: Park and Trail Usage in Southern Nevada. Las Vegas, NV. This was our presentation to the mayor and other government officials in Las Vegas and Clark County about our yearlong study on park use in Vegas

February

  • McKenzie, T. L. (2012, February 25). Activity Matters: Systematic Observations during School PE and Leisure Time. CAHPERD Annual Conference, Pasadena, CA.

  • McKenzie, T. L. (2012, February 24). Adoption of Evidence-Based Physical Education: Barriers and Strategies. In Changing the Status of Physical Education: Why Evidence Matters! CAHPERD Annual Conference, Pasadena, CA.

March

  • Carlson, J. P., McKenzie, T. L., Corder, K., Lee, N., Sallis, J. F., & Elder, J. P. (2012, March 12). Are schools providing sufficient opportunities for physical activity? Objectively measured physical activity and sedentary time in- and out-of-school in children aged 7-10. Annual Conference, Active Living Research, San Diego.

  • McKenzie, T. L. & Lounsbury, M. (2012, March 12). Systematic observation of physical activity and its contexts. Annual Conference, Active Living Research, San Diego. (workshop)

  • Cohen, D., Lapham, S., Everson, K., Ward, P, Hillier, Williamson, S., Golinelli, D., Marsh, T., & McKenzie, T. L. (2012, March 13). Neighborhood poverty levels and park use in four US cities. Annual Conference, Active Living Research, San Diego. (poster)

  • Lounsbery, M. A., McKenzie, T. L., Morrow, J., & Holt, K. (2012, March 14). School physical activity policy assessment. Annual Conference, Active Living Research, San Diego.

  • Cohen, D., Bing, H., DeRose, K., Williamson, S, Marsh, T., & McKenzie, T. L (2012, March 14). Effects of poverty on park use in Southern California. Annual Conference, Active Living Research, San Diego. (oral)

Did a web forum:

Invited presentations at the American Education Education Association in Vancouver:

  • McKenzie, T. L. (2012, April 12). My environment still makes me do it. In Reflections of past SIG scholars on our research heritage and suggestions for the future. SIG-Invisible College Meeting, American Educational Research Conference, Vancouver, Canada. (invited)

  • McKenzie, T. L. (2012, April 13). Twenty-seven years of school-based research using other people’s money. In Beyond Just Knowing: Translational Research Matters. SIG-Invisible College Meeting, American Educational Research Conference, Vancouver, Canada.

May

  • Received Lifetime Achievement Award, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN). (Washington, DC, May 1, 2012)

Invited presentation in Germany, followed by an 8 day tour:

  • McKenzie, T. L. (2012, May 10). Evidence-based outcomes of obesity intervention studies in the USA: A critical review. Revitalizing Health and Physical Education through Local Community Networking, Global Forum on Physical Education Pedagogy, Velen, Germany. (Keynote)

  • McKenzie, T. L. (2012, May). Systematic Observation of Physical Activity and Its Contexts in Park and Recreation Settings. In Physical Activity and Eating: You can see a lot just by observing. ISBNPA, Austin, TX, May 23-26. (Workshop)

Upcoming ACSM Meeting San Francisco

  • Mejia, E., Marshall, S., Medina. E., Duesterhaus, M., Parada, H., Ayala, G. X., Elder, J., Arredondo, E., McKenzie, T. L., & Ji, M. (2012). Transadaptation of the Academia Da Cidade Program (ACP) for use in the United Status: ACADEMIA FIT. American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, San Francisco. Medicine & Science in Sport and Exercise, 44, (5, Supplement), S368.

  • Duesterhaus, M. P., McKenzie, T. L., & Marshall, S. J. (2012). Validity of a direct observation measure for assessing group exercise classes. American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, San Francisco. Medicine & Science in Sport and Exercise, 44, (5, Supplement), S368.

  • Lounsbery, M. A. F., McKenzie, T. L., Funk, B., & Holt, K. (2012, June 1). Park use and physical activity in Southern Nevada. American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, San Francisco. Medicine & Science in Sport and Exercise, 44, (5, Supplement), S368.

June

  • Presenter, at BEAT Institute (Built Environment Assessment training) Boston, June 24-29.

  • Visiting Randi’s (wife) parents in Cleveland for their 90th birthday

July

  • Visiting New Brunswick, Canada for my high school reunion

October and Beyond:

  • McKenzie, T. L. (2012, October, accepted). In Advocacy for Physical Education policy development: Calling all PETE faculty. NASPE Physical Education Teacher Education Conference, Las Vegas, NV. (van der Mars, Lounsbery, Kanters, Beighle)

  • McKenzie, T. L. (2012, October, accepted). In Preparing teachers for a Health-Optimizing Physical Education CSAP NASPE Physical Education Teacher Education Conference, Las Vegas, NV. (Metzler, van der Mars, Williams)

  • McKenzie, T. L. & Smith, N. (2012, October, accepted). SOFIT: Twenty-two years and still counting. NASPE National Physical Education Teacher Education Conference, Las Vegas, NV. (oral, 50 minutes)

  • McKenzie, T. L. (2012, October 5). Preparing teachers for today’s world: The return of Forrest Plump. NASPE Physical Education Teacher Education Conference, Las Vegas, NV. (keynote)

  • Cohen, D. A., & McKenzie, T. L. (2012, October 18 accepted). Benchmarking Park Success: Using the SOPARC App to Measure Effectiveness. 2012 NRPA Congress and Exposition, Anaheim, CA.

  • McKenzie, T. L., Moody, J, Lee, &, Carlson, J. (2012, October). Neighborhood Income Matters: Disparities in Recreation Facilities, Amenities, and Programs. Leisure Research Symposium, NRPA Congress and Exposition, Anaheim, CA

  • I am doing research on various projects through SDSU, including Co-Investigator. Imperial County Childhood Obesity Project (ICCOP) –An Ecological Approach to Addressing the Issues. RFA–DP-11-007 Affordable Care Act (ACA): Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration study. CDC (9/29/11-9/28/15; Ayala, PI). Additionally, I am working with RAND on projects studying park use in five states, UNLV studying PE and recess policies and park use; innovations in youth hockey with investigators from North Carolina

Early Childhood Teaching Tips: How to Decrease Inappropriate Behavior During Structured Physical Activity

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Tips for teaching preschool childrenChildren face an abundance of “firsts” when they attend preschool, including their first experience of structured activity time. Enjoyment and success during activity is best achieved by remembering the saying, “The best defense is a good offense. Children need to learn the expectations for the structured activity class time.

For a sample lesson plan with expectations for structured early childhood physical activity, Click Here.

Even when children are aware of class expectations, the excitement of brightly colored equipment, inclusion of movement, and possibly being outdoors are distractions that can cause children to behave inappropriately. Decreasing inappropriate behavior is one of the goals of creating a positive learning environment.

Here are 11 tips  to help decrease inappropriate behavior during early childhood physical activity:

  1. Engage children in activity as soon as possible by keeping instructions short and concise.
  2. Remember to “teach from the perimeter.” If indoors, keep your “back to the wall.” Move to visit all children without turning your back on any.
  3. Use a musical activity when children’s attention becomes low and there is a need for a quick distraction enhanced with music.
  4. Children covet individual attention. When a child is modeling desired behaviors, say the child’s name for all to hear when providing positive and specific feedback.
  5. Provide individual feedback when the class is engaged in activity rather than calling attention to the negative behavior for all to hear.
  6. Use proximity control. Move closer to the child.
  7. To ensure the safety of all, if a child is endangering others have the child stand next to you and observe others on task. When you see the child is ready to participate safely, get the child engaged as soon as possible.
  8. Minimize distractions.
  9. When outdoors, strive to keep the children’s backs to the sun.
  10. If another class is present, position your class to face a different way.
  11. When using manipulatives begin with exploration time for children to just play. Remember to have children place manipulatives on the floor when giving instructions.

Get Kids Talking About Eating Veggies

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

A simple way to teach kids nutrition is to provide a fact, and then ask questions about how that fact relates to them. It gets kids thinking and discussing real-life situations. Try the ideas below to start healthy conversations about vegetables!

  1. Veggies offer vitamins, minerals and fiber for good health.Get Kids Talking About Eating Veggies
    • Can you name a veggie you ate yesterday?
    • Which ones are your favorites? Least favorites?
  2. To look and feel good, you need to eat at least 2 and 1/2 cups of veggies every day.
    • How many times a day do you eat veggies?
    • Do you think you eat 2 and 1/2 cups daily?
    • If not, how could you add more veggies in your day? (Give examples such as: A) snack on raw veggies B) eat a salad at lunch C) eat 2 different veggies at dinner.)

Find more teaching ideas like this in HKC’s Health Works! Wellness in Academics™ toolkit

New Funding for California Orgs: Innovative Ideas Challenge Grant

Monday, May 21st, 2012
Up To $4M Available to California Organizations!

The California Endowment has announced the Innovative Ideas Challenge (IIC), a new grant program seeking innovative ideas to address the persistent and emerging health issues that impact underserved communities in California. Projects should align with the 10 outcomes or 4 big results from the Building Healthy Communities plan, including reversing the childhood obesity epidemic.

SPARK aligns directly with the requirements of this grant and supports The Endowment’s vision to create healthier communities in California. SPARK offers evidence-based Physical Activity & Nutrition programs targeting pre-K through 12th grade students in and out of school, and our programs have been proven to WORK and LAST. New Funding for California Orgs: Innovative Ideas Challenge Grant

More Information:
  • Deadline: September 1, 2012
  • Amount Available: Up to $4,000,000
  • Eligibility Requirements: Nonprofit organizations and institutions that directly benefit the health and well-being of Californians
Next Steps:
  1. Click Here to learn more about eligibility information and grant guidelines.
  2. Contact SPARK at 1-800-SPARK PE or spark@sparkpe.org. A Program Consultant will ask you a few questions, learn about your current program, and listen to your vision for improving the health in your community. Together, we’ll create a program that will WORK and LAST.
  3. After contacting SPARK for help with your physical activity cost proposal, Click Here for helpful grant writing tools and sample text to include SPARK in your grant application.
Additional Resources:

Click Here for the CDC’s report “School-Based Physical Education: An Action Guide”. This document may provide guidance in determining your community’s approach to increasing physical activity. SPARK is mentioned throughout the report as an evidence-based program that increases the quality and quantity of activity for all students.

Click Here for the National Physical Activity Plan’s policy ideas and recommendations for Education, Parks, Recreation, Sports and Fitness.

Tune in to HBO’s Documentary Series, “The Weight of the Nation” May 14-15

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Between 60 and 70 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. Nearly a third of the nation’s youth age two to 19 are overweight or obese. We can’t stress enough the danger of obesity—it leads to serious health problems including heart disease, the leading cause of death in America. New generations of children face the possibility of shorter life expectancies than their parents. Why is America letting this happen?

HBO has partnered with the Institute of Medicine to premiere The Weight of the Nation, a four-part documentary series chronicling the country’s grave struggle with obesity.

SPARK is heavily invested in improving children’s health across the country, and we hope that you’ll take the time to watch the series. Through The Weight of the Nation, HBO is taking a significant step toward increasing awareness of the growing obesity epidemic and its implications.

The documentary shines a spotlight on many of the issues surrounding obesity, its causes, and its effects on health and everyday life with case studies and interviews with the country’s leading experts and the people struggling with it. In addition, the documentary series takes an unflinching look at all facets of childhood obesity, from school meals to declining physical education programs and beyond.

The documentary aims not only to raise awareness but cause action. It’s imperative for adults and children nationwide to shift toward a healthier lifestyle, and now. Our future depends on it.

Weight of the Nation viewing schedule:
Part 1 – “Consequences” – Monday, May 14th at 8:00 p.m.
Part 2 – “Choices” – Monday, May 14th at 9:10 p.m.
Part 3 – “Children in Crisis” – Tuesday, May 15th at 8:00 p.m.
Part 4 – “Challenges” – Tuesday, May 15th at 9:10 p.m.

If you don’t have HBO, you can still see the documentary series. All four parts will be available to view for free for an unlimited time at hbo.com/theweightofthenation starting May 14th.
On May 16th, watch the first part of another series called The Weight of the Nation for Kids at 7:00 p.m. (all three parts will be available this fall).

Gather your friends and family, and tune in to this very important documentary.

Also- Click Here to view another video on Childhood Obesity and how we can overcome this national epidemic.

Watch the Weight of the Nation trailer: