Parents Make the Difference
You may remember reading about CSPAP in an earlier blog post. Need a refresher? Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs (CSPAP for short) is a nationally recognized framework for success. These aren’t just guesses thrown out there. These programs are THE way to do things. We are starting a new series of blog posts to help a few different groups of people support, get the word out about these programs, and inform how they can help their kids, schools, and communities as a whole. First up - calling all parents!
Your school may already be doing a great job at implementing physical activity programs. But schools and teachers can also be overwhelmed and would welcome any help from parent volunteers. It’s important for parents to connect with their schools. Once they are connected they are engaged. And once they are engaged they need to stay engaged so sustaining their connection and engagement is key.
A great way to do that would be through consistent communication with other parents in the school. Since parents are the gatekeepers that influence their children’s behaviors as well as determine their perspective of school and other programs, it’s important that they are equipped with the proper information to help guide their children. An electronic monthly newsletter is a great solution. The newsletter could include the following:
- Intro - A note written from parent leaders that is conversational/welcoming/sets the tone
- Healthy Recipe of the Month - Rotate between breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack
- Active activity - Something fun to do as a family that gets you moving inside or outside
- Tips/Do This/Challenge - Something simple that gets people thinking about the little things they can do or a little personal challenge suggestion
- Facts/Did you Know - Educational, thought provoking
- Move of the Month - Meditation, yoga, mini-exercise routine, etc. This section could be provided by the PE coaches within the school to keep them involved as well.
Another good way to support CSPAPs is by volunteering your time and expertise. Yoga teachers, coaches, dance instructors, etc. could teach a class to students. They could also teach their parents. A parent leader could put together a class after drop-off or pick-up. And since food is always a good way to bring people together, partner with a local health food cafe to provide healthy snacks for after the class.
Here are some facts to inspire you to get involved!
FACT: Many parents may rely on kids getting their physical activity at school. But half of children’s weekly physical activity should occur outside of school.
FACT: Studies show that increased physical activity will reduce screen time at home.
FACT: Both teachers and parents report a lack of time as a significant barrier to engaging parents or engaging in CSPAP initiatives, but it just takes 10-20 minutes a day of play.
FACT: Educating parents and children on the topic of physical activity has been shown to increase the amount of physical activity