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Schools & Child Care

Healthy Playground Activity Leaders in School (Healthy P.A.L.S.)

The Healthy P.A.L.S program

Healthy P.A.L.S. is a peer-led playground leadership program that encourages all children to participate in activities regardless of their gender, age, or ability. “Adding more physical activity to kids’ routines could be the missing part of the equation to support their success in the classroom, on the field, and with their friends.” (ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth 2018 Highlight Report, page 2).  Healthy P.A.L.S. can help to get your students moving. Dedicated school staff are trained to supervise the program and junior and intermediate students are trained to act as playground activity leaders for younger students.

Check out our Healthy P.A.L.S. promotion video and share it with administrators, teachers and parents.

“Canadian kids need active bodies to build their best brains. All kids deserve to thrive in mind and body. But in order for them to reach their full mental, emotional and intellectual potential, their bodies have to move to get the wheels in their brains turning. Canadian kids need to move more to boost their brain health.” (ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth 2018 Highlight Report)  

The Healthy P.A.L.S. program will benefit your students by:

  • Increasing their physical activity
  • Decreasing conflict and reducing playground bullying
  • Providing leadership opportunities and building Developmental Assets® for students (Developmental Assets® enhance student skills, experiences, relationships and behaviours to enable young people to develop into healthy individuals).

The Healthy P.A.L.S. program the following strands within the Ontario Health and Physical Education Curriculum: Strand A: Social-Emotional Learning Skills and Strand B: Active Living. The program supports active participation, movement competence and activities that are inclusive, provides opportunities for student leadership and addresses bullying through supporting connections.

  • 1-2 school staff to support student leaders and supervise the program
  • Students in Grades 4 - 6 to act as playground activity leaders for younger students at recess.
  • Dedicated Healthy P.A.L.S. equipment, such as skipping ropes, an assortment of soft balls, marbles, jacks, whistles, and bags or bins to store the equipment.To encourage physical activity and support the Healthy P.A.L.S. program at your school, SMDHU has tarmac stencils available to for schools to borrow.
The School Health program offers training for Teacher Supervisors and can support your school with student leader training. During the Teacher Supervisor training, Healthy P.A.L.S. resources will be provided to support the implementation of the program at your school. Resources include: Supervisor Handbook, Student Leader Handbook, Student Leader Training Guidebook, Games book, scheduling templates, application forms, permission forms, and training certificates. Please contact your School Health public health nurse to find out when there is a training happening near you!
"Research underlines the importance of exercise and student engagement as important factors for student well-being. The Healthy P.A.L.S. program directly supports these components. It encourages active play and anti-bullying messages, while student-leaders grow in confidence, taking pride in their job within the school community. Healthy P.A.L.S. encourages a busy, peaceful playground where students have fun and learn from each other." – K. Van Dewark, Principal
Healthy P.A.L.S. has been adapted and reproduced with permission of Public Health, Region of Peel.

 

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