Monday, December 21, 2009

A Family Activity for the Holidays

Guest Blogger: Carrie Gibson, PE4life Event Manager

Ah, yes, Christmas time!  So looking forward to the days of lounging at my parents home with the never ending array of goodies, classic Christmas movies (The Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation, you know the ones I’m talking about…) and quality time spent with family.  This year, however, I’m mixing it up!  Little do they know, they are going to experience an outdoor adventure!

Inspired by Deb Walter’s phenomenal adventure education program in Rogers, AR, I am coordinating a Geocache hunt for my family!  This is my first go-round with Geocaching, but I can tell you that we are having a great time setting this up.  For those of you who don’t know, Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunt played with GPS devices.

My husband and I are plotting the perfect locations in our small home-town of Marysville, Kansas (think: The historical Pony Express Statue, the City Park, the high school football field, the church where we were married, the golf course and other key landmarks around town).  Using longitude and latitude coordinates, we will guide the teams to these locations where they will find little prizes and clues for the next spot.

Each team equipped with a GPS device – which is even easier now since most cell phones have this capability, we are strategically splitting them up into teams. (Of course, keeping careful care to split up those “technically challenged” and those with the most local knowledge.)  I will enjoy seeing my 12 year old niece partner with her 60-something grandpa.  I’m also eager to see my sister-in-law who grew up in the big city make her way around small-town America on a mad dash for prizes! 

It should be a good time!  Just hope the weather cooperates and snow doesn’t bury our treasures!

For more information on Geocaching check out this website or this one.

If you want to check out Deb’s program, go here or contact PE4life to learn more!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Guest Blogger: Phil Lawler, Importance of Medical Advisory Boards

We are always looking for ways to support our physical education programs, especially ideas that do not cost a lot of money. One of the best things we ever did in our district was to create a School District Medical Advisory Board. Our board has been active for over 10 years. The medical advisory board brought tremendous support from our community medical world. Our committee only meets once a year, but the committee is available for support throughout the school year. Our committee has grown to be quite large over the last 10 years. This committee has worked on countless projects to improve the health of children in our school and community. In the process, we were able to educate the medical community on how much the delivery of physical education had changed and they understood the value of teaming with us.

A few examples of success stories: our Medical Advisory Committee was responsible for creating written district guidelines for dealing with asthma. We started offering annual cholesterol screenings through PE class. Possibly our biggest accomplishment was getting support from the medical field to the point we almost completely eliminated medical excuses from PE with doctors support! The last 3 years we have now offered free EKG screenings to all of our high school students (not just athletes - all students). The communication and support for from the medical community has been priceless.

Our school district nurse was the person that first organized our Medical Advisory Board. Click here to view the letter she sends out to the medical community. Below is a short note she sent to a district that recently inquired about starting a Medical Advisory Board in their community:


Phil Lawler gave me your email address. He said that you were interested in starting a medical advisory board in your district. Ours has been a great resource for us . I am attaching the letter that we send to prospective members. We try to have representation from the pediatricians and family physicians in the community as well as a representative from other disciplines like cardiology, ENTs, neurologists, psychologists, infectious disease, etc. From the staff we have the Superintendent and Special Ed. /Student Services Director, our Community Relations person, our head psych and social worker, our nurses, trainers, PE representatives, etc. We meet for a breakfast that we provide once per year and then ask that the members be on call for questions as they arise. We pick the topics for our agenda from issues that arise during the year as well as from concerns/questions that members submit.

Please let me know if you need further information. 

Ellen Wolff

Trust me, this will be one project worth adding to your list of things to do.

Phil Lawler

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Give a 'Friend of PE4life' Membership for the Holidays!

Still trying to find the perfect gift for that hard-to-buy-for person in your life? PE4life has a pretty cool new feature - now you can purchase a 'Friend of PE4life' membership as a gift! Not only will your gift help us impact the 2 million children we reach annually, but it's super convenient too! 

The levels of giving begin as little as $30 and go up to $250. Depending on the level you choose, you'll receive a certificate stating that you (or the recipient) are now a valued friend of PE4life, a subscription to the PE4life Quarterly Newsletter, a goody bag, a PE4life t-shirt, and/or a PE4life sweatshirt!

To learn more or to order, simply visit the Resources page of our pro shop, choose your level of giving, print your personalized certificate and wait for your gifts to arrive in the mail! Orders arriving before Christmas must be placed by December 15th!