Monday, January 24, 2011

PE4life Hosts Successful Professional Development for Arkansas Schools!

Last week, we hosted two successful events with guest speaker Jean Blaydes Madigan, Neurokinesiologist/Consultant/M.Ed, international speaker, and noted author of “Thinking on Your Feet: A Year’s Worth of Lesson Plans” and “Action Based Learning™ Lab Manual.”

Jean introduced exciting new brain research that supports the importance of movement in the learning process. This latest research advocates for and justifies daily quality physical education and/or movement in the classroom. Jean uses fun and exciting games, fitness, and rhythmic activities to demonstrate how to boost a child's brain power, how to prepare the brain for optimum learning, and how to improve memory and retention while reinforcing the classroom teacher's curriculum.

Siloam Springs
January 17, 2011 – Siloam Springs, AR – More than 300 teachers and school leaders from the Siloam Springs School District and other surrounding districts attended this high energy professional development opportunity. Here's what Siloam Springs School District's Curriculum Director, Connie Matchell, had to say about the event:

"Our day with Jean was wonderful. I have never had such an overwhelmingly positive response to any professional development day. The most impressive thing however is the level of implementation of Jean’s suggestions that I am seeing in classrooms all across the district. I was very impressed by the way that she was able to address all levels from Pre-K to high school, she even specifically talked directly to speech pathologists and foreign language teachers. Thank you for the opportunity to have Jean in our district."

January 18, 2011 – Springdale, AR – One hundred academic & physical educators, community leaders, parent advocates, and health & wellness champions from more than 30 schools gathered at Har-Ber High School for this free Community Presentation.

The opportunity to host Jean Blaydes Madigan at these events was provided by the Care Foundation.

Were you one of the attendees at these events? Leave a comment letting us know what you enjoyed most!

Want to book Jean for a workshop? Email Rachelle Gardner at or call 816-472-7345.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year, New Resolutions for PE4life Staff

Happy New Year, friends!

Tis the season for starting anew… Making those promises that this year will be different/better than the last... Some of us at the PE4life office are determined to do just that.

Here are some of the PE4life Staff’s New Year’s Resolutions:

Jen Neubauer, Program Support Specialist
Since 2011 is the year that I turn the big FOUR O....I decided to Focus on FOUR areas of my life more. These focus areas should bring about a more balanced and healthy lifestyle for me.
There are very specific things under each area that I plan to track on a monthly basis to keep me accountable. And, I started off the year with a professional organizer that came to my house this morning to help me set up a more functional, organized, and stress reducing PE4Life Home Office!!
(Awesome! Great way to kick off the year, Jen!)

Melanie Sheppard, Communications Coordinator
I’m going to start running again and make healthier food choices.
(Mel was spotted on the treadmill yesterday! Keep it up, girl!)

Ashley Davies, Program Support Specialist
My New Year’s Resolution is to complete at least one athletic event each month of the year (ex. 5K, triathlon, Volleyball/Basketball tourney) and document it (will be my biggest struggle…)!!
(Ashley has yet to officially register for the Groundhog Run at the end of this month, but says she will…)

Jason Robinson, Development Coordinator and Federal Grant Manager
To reign as undefeated/ undisputed champ of PE4life conference table ping pong the entire year!!!
(To date Jason has started off the year undefeated, which some of us are determined to change!)

Kate Jackson, Finance Specialist
I have a New Year’s Resolution but it is not appropriate for the office…. :)
(Go Kate! We think…)

Carrie Gibson, Event Manager
It is my resolution to eliminate Ranch Dressing and Cream Cheese from my diet. I will make healthier food choices in general, but those two specifically have got to stop.
(Day 4 of the New Year and no Ranch Dressing or Cream Cheese consumed!)

Did you know that "Eating Healthier" and "Exercising More" are statistically proven to be the top choice for New Year's Resolutions? PE4lifers are in the business of helping to create a healthy culture for schools and communities, but often get wrapped up behind the desk, forgetting to practice what we preach. With this in mind, I thought this article from MSN’s Fitbie provided some helpful tips. Here's to a prosperous and HEALTHY New Year!

So, what’s YOUR New Year’s Resolution? Tell us in the comments section!