The P.A.L.S. program encourages all children to participate in activities regardless of their gender, size, or ability. There are three objectives of the program: to increase physical activity, to decrease conflict and reduce the incidence of playground bullying, and to provide a leadership opportunity for students.
A Public Health Nurse trains staff and students to implement the program. School staff supervise the program with the Public Health Nurse providing ongoing support. Students in grades 5 and 6 with leadership qualities are trained to act as playground activity leaders for younger students. These students will plan and lead fun and safe activities on the playground.
P.A.L.S. was developed after a review of existing playground leadership programs and consultation with other health departments. The program was implemented in 20 Peel schools as a pilot program from January – June 2003. This program is already in local schools and Lambton Public Health has the capacity to support this program.
WHY EDUCATORS LIKE PALS
- Handbook, trained student volunteers and staff champions, parent permission forms.
- Peer-to-peer: Grade 6-8 students are trained to facilitate activities at recess for younger students.
- Using a handbook to guide activities for the playground, trained student volunteers offer guided activities to younger students during recess breaks.
Source: Playground Activity Leaders in Schools (PALS)
and Active After School