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Community Connections for Lifelong Recreation. Matthew Cummiskey, Ph.D. Central Connecticut State University New Britain, CT. Materials available via website. Why This Presentation. Focus – Program that requires PE students to be physically in their community (CCLR)

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Community Connections for Lifelong Recreation


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    1. Community Connections for Lifelong Recreation Matthew Cummiskey, Ph.D. Central Connecticut State University New Britain, CT Materials available via website

    2. Why This Presentation Focus – Program that requires PE students to be physically in their community (CCLR) • Connecting students to physical activity resources • Personal interest • Urban, disadvantaged population • Decreased structured physical activity associated with schools when students graduate

    3. Why This Presentation NASPE standard three is the most important and results when the other five are done well. Perhaps it should be # 1 (Cleland)

    4. How Much Exercise Do Adults Need?

    5. How Much Exercise Do Adults Need?

    6. How Much Exercise Do Adults Need?

    7. Brainstorming • Design your own program or series of interventions that requires students to be physically active in their community. Your program must include the following: • Description (requirements, locations, time, etc) • Verification • Assessment This information will supplement the program described later.

    8. Selling the Program • Explain to students WHY the program exists and why it’s important students become and stay physically active in their community • Improves buy-in • Link the program to the NASPE standards • Discuss the benefits of physically activity • Poster in the gym

    9. Program Basics • Senior year (may be junior year for some) • 2 hours per week at an APPROVED location • 4 weeks (~September) • 4 more weeks (~May) • No more than one hour per day, even if students did more than one hour (regular PA) • Cannot go to the same facility in the fall as in the spring • Complete a physical activity journal for each week that is turned in on Monday of the following week • ½ page to 1 page reflection

    10. Program Basics - Steps • Students develop a community physical activity plan turned in prior to starting • Must include • 5 goals – 2 must be linked to fitnessgram data • Action plan – what they plan to do based on the options • Execute community PA plan • Complete verification form and physical activity log

    11. Approved Partners • Volunteerism: litter clean-ups, hunger/breast cancer walk, habitat for humanity • Walking programs • Fitness centers/gyms • Boys and Girls Clubs Recreation League • YMCA • Park and Recreation Department • Dance studio (not for lessons) • Community gardens • Safe route to school sponsor • Climbing/challenge facilities • Jump rope for heart (at school) • Family physical activity night (at school) • Community recreation center • Churches (must be signed by reverend) • Aquatics center • Youth coaching • Create your own • Later dropped

    12. Partner Considerations • Cost • Zero – no expectation was made of students having to spend money • Several partners agreed to allow students X number of free visits. Most were receptive because they though of the students as future clients • Proximity to school and/or community where students live • Facilities are safe, well-maintained, and supervised • Accessible for students with disabilities

    13. Not Approved • Substitutions • Walking to school, athletics, recess (younger grades), after-school intramurals and/or fitness center • The whole idea was to diversify student exposure to applications in the community • Just having their parents sign the form stating they mowed the yard :)

    14. Physical Activity Log • Decidedly low-tech because students did not have wide access to the internet outside of school • Log sheet • Online solutions • www.presidentschallenge.org/activity_log

    15. Suggestions for Students • Pick an activity you like and one that fits into your schedule • Find the time that works best for you • Be active with friends and family. Having a support network can help • Have a buddy • Every little bit adds up • 15 minutes is not nothing! • Don’t procrastinate until later in the week – things happen

    16. Safety Tips • If you haven’t been active in a while, start slowly and build up • Choose activities that are appropriate for your fitness level • Use the right safety gear and sports equipment • Choose a safe place to do your activity • See a health care provider if you have a health problem

    17. Verifying the Experience • In facilities where participants signed in (fitness center, rec center, pool) at a monitored location, students were required to sign a separate sheet. I either picked up the sheet or it was mailed to school after the four weeks • If one individual consistently ran a program, they recorded student names and communicated them to me • “Cutsy” for rec volleyball, Wiggins for wanderlust, and Lashanda for neighborhood clean up • If neither option above was possible, students completed a verification form • Later on did not allow this

    18. Assessment 30% of quarterly grade • Completion of the two required hours = four points for each of four week (16 points) • 1 ½ - 2 hours = 2 points (originally 3) • 1 – 1 ½ hours = 1 point (originally 2) • < 1 = 0 points • Completion of community PA action plan, log, and reflection • 4 points each (12 points) • Write up of the experience in ½ to 1 full page • Originally used but later dropped • Instead moved to whole-class discussions with students

    19. Limitations • Did not measure the intensity of physical activity (MVPA v. low v. high) or differentiate between muscular strength/endurance activities and cardiovascular ones • Outside the goals of the program • Unfortunate but can’t count walks to grocery store or ball games at the playground • Why it’s important to be clear UP FRONT to prevent confusion down the road

    20. Problems • Add more sites • Students lying about their activity • No longer allowed students to “create their own” PA • Big stick – zero on assignment (30%) of quarterly grade • Students signing in and leaving • Sign in forms were modified to include sign in and sign out times • Confusion about what experiences met requirement • If it’s not on the list, no luck • Some students simply refused to do it

    21. Other Approaches • Take students to community applications as part of PE class. • Trips to a driving range, bowling alley, or other site • Include this in their required two hours • Homework: Students locate every physical activity resource within a 5-minute walk of their home • South Carolina – Requires each student to participate in some type of physical activity in the community • Bring representatives of local community PA resources in to present their organization • Lessens student discomfort with new situations • Physical activity fair (like a health fair but with different vendors)

    22. Other Approaches • Family fitness night – your attendance will go way up if it counts towards the requirement • Advocate for schools being constructed near parks and recreation facilities. Partnership between schools and park/recreation department • Duplication of facilities not used at the same time • Possibly not the case for some middle and high schools • Sharing facilities connects students with adult physical activity options early on instead of waiting until senior year • Create bulletin boards with all of the physical activity options in the community

    23. Suggestions • Collaborate with colleagues • Everyone should be on board • Start small • Have a pilot class try out the experience (avoid my mistake!) • Plan, plan, plan • Think about all the details • Prepare the paperwork • Anticipate loop holes and problems • Check in periodically with students to see how things are going • Create a contract students sign prior to implementing* • Talk to any facility about liability first • Typically fell under visitor’s policy

    24. In Conclusion • Absolutely a worthwhile venture • You are making the link between PE and lifetime physical activity (our primary purpose) • Several students reported enjoying the requirement • Benefits everyone and is not a rich get richer scenario • Students apply learning from physical education class (see the connection/importance) • Once set up, the program is fairly easy to keep rolling

    25. Resources • Task Force on Community Preventive Services • CDC • Be Active Your Way: A Guide for Adults • Department of Health & Human Services • Physical Activity Evaluation Handbook • Department of Health & Human Services • Website • Http://thenewPE.com (click on “conferences” link)