|School - P.A.L.S.
Playground Activity Leaders in Schools
If your school is interested in P.A.L.S., please contact the Public Health Nurse (PHN) in your area. If you do not know your school’s PHN, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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P.A.L.S. Ideas for Success
In the Spring of 2013, a survey was completed by local school staff and student leaders in schools that were implementing the P.A.L.S. program. The results were reviewed and here are some of the highlights (grouped into themes) that may improve the sustainability and success of the program.
Recruiting and Maintaining Leaders
- Target specific grades and classes for selecting leaders; it is a good idea to have students from these groups apply to be leaders making it more official and ensuring the students who are leaders want to be there.
- Have a good size pool of leaders. Between 20-50 depending on the frequency and number of games you have running.
- Have a schedule at the office where P.A.L.S. leaders are announced each day.
- Have discussions with student leaders about the importance of their role and have the leaders come up with ideas to help ensure they show up at scheduled times.
- Have back-ups available for students who are not at school that day.
- When possible have students be responsible to ask another P.A.L.S. leader to cover their day if they have a conflict (e.g., soccer try-outs, school trip).
- Schedule students in groups so that they can support each other.
- Have announcements to remind students of the P.A.L.S activities.
- Avoid over-scheduling students.
- Allow other P.A.L.S. leaders to help out if they want to/if it is needed.
- Post schedules in different places (at the office, in classrooms, or other high traffic areas).
Training Student Leaders
- Choose the training session that is right for your school.
- Have only school staff train student leaders OR invite the Health Unit to support your school with the training.
- Provide a full day (3-4 hrs) session of training, OR divide it into two 2 hour sessions, OR multiple smaller sessions.
- Schedule meetings with student leaders between every two weeks - every month.
- Provide leaders with nutritious snacks at meetings.
- Have a system that provides leaders an opportunity to identify their challenges and celebrate successes.
- Empower student leaders to work together on ways to resolve their issues and challenges that they have identified.
Promoting the Program
- Advertise the games using classroom/school wide demos of activities, flyers and announcements.
Implementing a Successful Program
- Allow the leaders and/or participants to be a part of choosing the games.
- Target different age groups (grades 1-4 were most popular) at different times.
- Games that were found to work best:
- K - Grade 1 – Tag Games, Ball Games
- Grades 2-3 – Beanbag Toss, “Stones” Game, Tag Games, Obstacle
Course, Group Games
- Grades 4-5 – Rubber Chicken Games, “Stones” Game, Bucket Ball
Please feel free to share more games that you have found successful.
Resources Created by Local Schools: