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OLE Alliance For Ready Schools 3 4 10
 

OLE Alliance For Ready Schools 3 4 10

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  • Introduce speakers, including position in their organization and role with OLE Alliance. We’re here to tell you about the NC OLE Alliance. This is a group that has formed out of concern about children’s relationship with the outdoors. Before we begin, please take a moment to close your eyes and think about how you played outdoors as a child. While their eyes are closed, ask . . . What did you see? What did you smell? What did you hear outdoors? Now open your eyes. Did anyone have memories that involve playing in a creek? Playing in the woods? Digging in the dirt? Building forts or sandcastles? . . . . Would anyone like to share a memory? How many of you remember playing outdoors in child care? (or How do you see children today playing outdoors?) This is the driving force for this initiative.
  • Handout NC OLE Alliance mission statement and goals. Developed in a collaborative process involving Alliance members. Goes beyond the field of early childhood to addresses ALL children – eg. all ability levels, cultures and ages etc. of children. Also addresses all settings (public parks, greenways, child care settings, etc.)
  • The Alliance meets twice a year and is structured this way . . . Workgroups meet more frequently and work toward goals that they have defined for their group. Each workgroup have two co-chairs who organize the workgroup meetings and participate on the Leadership team. The Leadership Team works with Alliance Co-Chairs (Jani Kozlowski and Janet McGinnis) to ensure that good communication occurs between groups and to plan the work and meetings of the Alliance. A number of state leaders and content experts have an interest in this work but are not available to attend meetings or participate in a workgroup. These members have agreed to be Advisory Members and are called upon for their particular expertise or organizational involvement.
  • Handout NC OLE Alliance mission statement and goals. Developed in a collaborative process involving Alliance members. Goes beyond the field of early childhood to addresses ALL children – eg. all ability levels, cultures and ages etc. of children. Also addresses all settings (public parks, greenways, child care settings, etc.)
  • So knowing all of this, why are we faced with this problem? Fear is at the root of much of our concern. Much of the time this fear is not justified or can be easily managed or addressed. Our culture is moving rapidly to being a culture that is afraid of going outside. Think again of how you played as a child. There are also many misconceptions – for example our rules and regulations in child care are meant to guide safe practices not to prevent or be a barrier to teachers taking children outdoors. Many teachers/caregivers do not recognize the outdoors as a part of the learning environment and do not know how to use it that way.
  • Dr. Rhonda Clements surveyed over 800 mothers in the United States to explore the extent to which children in the early 2000s play outdoors as compared to a generation ago. Children in the early 2000s: spend less time playing outdoors participate in different activities outdoors (e.g., fewer street games and more organized youth sports) participate in more indoor than outdoor play activities Obstacles, such as television, computers, and concerns about crime, safety, and injury, prevented their children from participating in more outdoor play.
  • Dr. Andrew Balmford and colleagues surveyed 109 United Kingdom primary schoolchildren (ages 4 to 11) to investigate their knowledge of natural and non-natural objects. Each child was shown a set of 20 flashcards—10 of common British wildlife species (including plants, invertebrates, and mammals) and 10 of Pokémon characters. Children’s overall identification success for common wildlife species rose from 32% at age 4 to 53% at age 8 and then fell slightly, whereas children’s identification success for Pokémon characters rose from 7% at age 4 to 78% at age 8.
  • We hear about the consequences of this trend every day in the news.
  • This series of slides will demonstrate what has occurred in the incidence of obesity in our country since 1985. Point out the parameters – based on body mass index for adults more than 30 pounds overweight (5’4” height) – refer to color codes for percent of population over 30 pounds overweight.
  • Even though we know physical activity is good for our children, we also know that parents are unable to provide these opportunities. Ex. Working parent leaves the home at 7:30 to go drop child off at child care, work all day, pick child up at 5:30 or 6:00, time for dinner, homework, bath, bed . . . makes me tired to think about it. When does this parent go outdoors with their child? Some times of the year it is dark outdoors when the drop off and pick up their child. For many children their only experiences outdoors occur in child care settings or school.
  • An increasing body of research tells us that outdoor play has a positive affect on attention-related problems. This study out of the University of Illinois illustrates this finding. Earlier we mentioned that boys often respond more to kinesthetic learning opportunities. The outdoor provides this opportunity – eg. Building a fort with friends, taking science exploration outdoors and applying learning objectives in a setting where children can actively engage with the concepts. ADHD medications prescriptions for children ages 2 to 4 increased almost 300% between 1991 and 1995. About six million children, roughly one in eight children, will take ADHD medications.
  • Cite references – Illinois study? Orion article Ansel Adams photograph…
  • In a 2003 study, Cornell professor Nancy Wells found that even a view of nature—green plants and vistas—helps reduce stress among highly stressed children. Further, the more plants, green views and access to natural play areas, the more positive the results.
  • In the future we would like to also look at quality of movement that these settings afford
  • This is more an example of spontaneous play occurring – and notice how physically active these girls are!
  • This is more an example of spontaneous play occurring – and notice how physically active these girls are!
  • We are also seeing some inspiring and innovative outdoor environments develop as a result of greater awareness of the need for children to be in nature. A change in legislation now allows Smart Start funding to be used to improve the quality of outdoor environments.
  • These are photos taken from NC child care centers – 4 and 5 star centers! There are still many programs that have not addressed their outdoor environments beyond the minimum requirements for licensing.
  • We see evidence often in the field that the outdoors is not a priority. Sand table without sand or sand toys Broken or damaged equipment that has not been repaired (shade tarp). Older wood structures with splintered or damaged wood that has been treated with CCA (wood treatment no longer used that contains arsenic).
  • Funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation A partnership between NCPC and NC State University’s Natural Learning Initiative in the College of Design 3-year project titled “Preventing Obesity by Design (POD)” Training and support for Smart Start technical assistance (TA) providers and their child care partners Selected Smart Start-funded TA providers will learn about: the research-based benefits of outdoor play for young children outdoor learning environment design strategies how to include natural elements in the child care outdoor environment ways to support teachers in their efforts to guide children’s play outdoors A total of 30 model outdoor learning environment demonstration sites will be created over the course of the project. The project aims to address issues of childhood obesity and will put strategies into place that can be sustained over time through Smart Start-funded child care quality enhancement initiatives.
  • Introduce speakers, including position in their organization and role with OLE Alliance. We’re here to tell you about the NC OLE Alliance. This is a group that has formed out of concern about children’s relationship with the outdoors. Before we begin, please take a moment to close your eyes and think about how you played outdoors as a child. While their eyes are closed, ask . . . What did you see? What did you smell? What did you hear outdoors? Now open your eyes. Did anyone have memories that involve playing in a creek? Playing in the woods? Digging in the dirt? Building forts or sandcastles? . . . . Would anyone like to share a memory? How many of you remember playing outdoors in child care? (or How do you see children today playing outdoors?) This is the driving force for this initiative.

OLE Alliance For Ready Schools 3 4 10 OLE Alliance For Ready Schools 3 4 10 Presentation Transcript

  • Janet McGinnis, NC Office of Early Learning Jani Kozlowski, NC Division of Child Development Play Outside! Adventures with the NC Outdoor Learning Environments Alliance
  • Mission of the North Carolina Outdoor Learning Environments Alliance
    • “ To improve the quality of outdoor environments and experiences for all children throughout the state.”
  • NC OLE Alliance was originally organized by:
    • 3 Work Groups
      • Professional Development & Technical Assistance
      • Policy & Regulation
      • Public Awareness & Advocacy
    • A Leadership Team that includes
    • 2 representatives from each work group.
    • Advisory Members who are available to the Alliance to provide expertise in specified areas.
    • Why Play Outside?
    • Play Outside Ideas
    • North Carolina Initiatives
  • Why aren’t children going outside?
    • Safety concerns
      • Crime
      • Traffic
      • Sun safety
      • Air quality – ozone days
      • Weather
      • Rules, regulations, sanitation
    • Current conditions
      • Lack of high-quality outdoor environments
      • Lack of recognition of the outdoors as an arena for learning
      • Lack of understanding that children learn through play
  • Research supports this notion that children are spending less time playing outdoors
    • Survey of 800 mothers in the United States
    • Outdoor play in the 2000s vs 40 years ago
    • Less time outdoors
    • Different activities outdoors
    • More indoor play
    Clements, R. “An Investigation of the State of Outdoor Play.” Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, Vol. 5(1):68-80, 2004.
  • Plugged In or Tuned Out?
    • For many, childhood is spent overly plugged in. (Wike, 2006).
    • Children now spend nearly 30 hours a week watching a TV or computer screen, listening to something through headphones or, for older children, using cell phones or media players (CDC, 2005; Ginsberg et al, 2007).
  • Children know more about Pokémon than common wildlife
    • Survey of 109 kids in the UK
    • Assessed knowledge using set of flashcards
    • Wildlife knowledge rose from 32% at age 4 to 53% at age 8
    • Pokémon knowledge rose from 7% at age 4 to 78% at age 8
    Balmford, A., Clegg, L., Coulson, T., & Taylor, J. “Why Conservationists Should Heed Pokémon.” Science, 295(5564), 2367-2367, 2002.
  • What are the consequences?
    • Decline in physical fitness
    • Rising childhood obesity rates
    • Increase in attention issues
    • More allergies, asthma , respiratory illness
  • Obesity Trends* Among U.S. Adults Center for Health Statistics, 1985 (*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs overweight for 5’ 4” person) No Data <10% 10%–14%
  • Obesity Trends* Among U.S. Adults 2 007
  • Childhood Obesity on the Rise
    • In North Carolina in 2007, 15.3% of children ages 2-4 are considered to be extremely overweight. (>=95 percentile)
    • That amounts to a total of 15,092
    • overweight preschool children in our state.
    • NC-NPASS, 2007; limited to children seen in NC Public Health sponsored clinics
    • Children need 1 hour per day of vigorous activity.
    • (U.S. Surgeon General)
    However, more than half of parents (54%) said that they had little or no time to spend engaged in physical activity with their children, but wish they had more time .
  • Attention issues respond to outside play .
  • This research from the University of Illinois has shown…
    • Children who are exposed
    • to natural environments
    • exhibit:
      • Improved attention skills
      • Less impulsivity
      • Fewer challenging behaviors
    Taylor, Andrea Faber; Frances E. Kuo; and William C. Sullivan. In Environment and Behavior, Vol. 33, No. 1, January 2001. © 2001 Sage Publications, Inc. Available at www.lhhl.uiuc.edu
    • Cornell professor Nancy Wells found that even a view of nature—green plants and vistas—helps reduce stress among highly stressed children.
    Wells, N.M., and Evans, G.W. &quot;Nearby Nature: A Buffer of Life Stress Among Rural Children.&quot; Environment and Behavior. Vol. 35:3, 311-330.
  • Outdoor Play Benefits the “Whole Child”
    • Health benefits
    • Cognitive benefits
      • creativity
      • problem-solving
      • focus
      • self-discipline
    • Social benefits
      • cooperation
      • self-awareness
    • Emotional benefits
      • stress reduction
      • reduced aggression
      • increased happiness
    Burdette, Hillary L., M.D., M.S.; and Robert C. Whitaker, M.D, M.P.H. &quot;Resurrecting Free Play in Young Children: Looking Beyond Fitness and Fatness to Attention, Affiliation and Affect.&quot; © 2005 American Medical Association.
    • Things to Think about: Appeal to the Senses
  • Sense of Smell - aromatic plants - flowers and herbs.
  • Taste - grow food, herbs.  Have lunch or snack outdoors.  Hold a special event or activity outside that involves tasting - like making apple cider, cutting open a watermelon…
  • Touch - lots of textures in surfacing and materials and plants.  Moss, soft grasses and other plants with other textures - bark or mulch of different types. And soft white sand…
    • Sound – musical instruments, wind chimes, grasses that make sounds when they blow in the wind, birdsong
    • Things to think about: Pathways
    • Things to think about: Shade
  • Things to think about: Hills
    • Things to think about: Hills & Water play
    • Things to think about: Water Features
    • Things to think about: Water Features
    • Things to think about: Cozy Places
  • Things to think about: Loose Parts
    • Things to think about: Art
    • Things to think about: Music
    • Things to think about: Music
  • Impromptu Dramatic Play
  • Outdoor Gathering Places
    • Growing Your Own Food
  • Planting a “Shoe Garden”
  • We still have a long way to go!
  • We still have a long way to go!
  • Outdoor Learning Environments Quality Enhancement Project
    • Preventing Obesity by Design (POD)
    • Funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation
    • NC State Natural Learning Initiative & NCPC
    • 3 years  30 sites that are developing high quality outdoor environments
    • Training & support for Smart Start-funded technical assistance providers
      • POD Design Workshop
      • Design
      • Play area improvement
      • Everybody involved: school director, teachers, children, siblings, community members, volunteers and NLI design team
      • Evaluation
      • Preschool Outdoor Evaluation Measurement Scale (POEMS)
    http://www.poemsnc.org
  • Sky View Factor Before After 26% less sun exposure
      • Environmental Care
      • Watering newly planted trees and groundcovers with rainwater
  • BEFORE AFTER
  • Proposed Licensing Regulations
    • 1 hour of outdoor play each day (weather permitting)
    • Limited “screen time”
    • Rules to be voted on by the Child Care Commission on March 11 th , 2010
    • Website with link to proposed rules:
  • www.osr.nc.gov (Go to the Professional Development link)
  • For More Information Janet McGinnis, Education Consultant NC Office of Early Learning [email_address] Jani Kozlowski, Policy Unit Supervisor NC Division of Child Development [email_address]