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Doctor’s Notes: Parents, barriers to fitness and fun are surmountable

The Toronto Star – Nancy Quinn

Most children with different abilities want to play more sports or be more active, but only about half of these kids currently take part in physical education class. Studies show that success on the playing field or at the playground can lead to greater success educationally and socially — and sports can have a major positive impact on quality of life. Clearly, we need to do better. Finding the right program that suits your children’s interests and needs can take research and effort. But parents, please do not despair. There are many resources available in Ontario that provide children with different abilities the opportunity to be physically active and play sport. People are actively working to improve access and opportunity to these resources for you and your child. Language is a powerful tool and can improve access and opportunity for children with different abilities. “Disability” or “disabled” implies a lack of ability, while “different ability” affirms ability, and the children that I am speaking of are extremely able.”(more)

Baseball can teach education a lesson

Ed Source – Arun Ramanathan

“I wish that discussions of education data were as interesting as my conversations on baseball statistics. Contrary to my reputation as an Ed Dork, I do not wake up every morning, grab my phone and check out EdWeek, EdSource and Eduwonk for the latest Ed news. I wake up, grab my phone and check out two pretty amazing baseball blogs: crashburnalley.com and fangraphs.com. The first was created by amateur statisticians and hardcore fans of the Philadelphia Phillies. The second is the online bible for baseball statistics junkies nationally. Both sites view the game through the lens of numbers. The movement of those numbers up and down reflects the performance of ballplayers. The beauty of these sites is that they’ve taken the numbers that were once the province of baseball lifers and general managers and democratized them. This has resulted in the proliferation of metrics such as OPS (On-base Plus Slugging), WAR (Wins Above Replacement), BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play), and countless others. Over the past decade, as these metrics have proliferated, it’s hard to know which ones have been created by professionals and which ones by amateurs. In fact, the stats revolution has moved beyond baseball, taken over basketball and started to change football.”(more)

What parents should know about kids’ sports nutrition

The Des Moines Register – Lori Graff

“Baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball, tennis, fun-runs and more are keeping your family busy and moving this summer. Proper nutrition for your child is important to keep him or her active. As a parent and/or coach, it is your job to help keep these youngsters hydrated, healthy, growing and strong. Sports nutrition for children is important, especially during those all-day tournaments and long training periods. Children’s nutrition needs are different than adults, based on their rapid growth, increasing muscle mass and hormone changes.”(more)

Physical Fitness and Sports: 14 Ways for Kids to Increase Physical Fitness and Awareness

U.S. Dept. of Education – Staff Writer

“May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Let’s Move! reports that nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. Lifestyles that include physical activity and good nutrition will help keep kids on the path to a more healthy and productive future. National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is a great time to help kids become more aware of the fact that physical activity and eating well promote a healthy lifestyle.”(more)

After-school clubs ‘can improve poorer children’s education’

The Guardian – Staff Writer

“After-school clubs can improve the academic performance and social skills of children from disadvantaged backgrounds, research shows. The study of 6,400 children in England found that those who took part in organised sports and physical activities at the ages of five, seven and 11 were almost one and a half times more likely to reach a higher than expected level in their Key Stage 2 (KS2) maths test at the age of 11. Disadvantaged children who attended after-school clubs also fared better than their peers who did not take part.”(more)

It’s March Madness! Why We Should Teach STEM with Sports

Getting Smart – Blair Blackwell

“For students across America who are sports fan, this time of year can be exciting and captivating. Whether your student is throwing a football to emulate a Super Bowl touchdown drive, practicing kickflips in anticipation of being the next X Games champion, or shooting three-pointers in anticipation of March Madness, a common theme in all sports is that practice is the key to success. But, what many people may not realize, is the role that STEM plays in taking these sports to the next level. Tapping into a student’s interest in sports can provide an effective, hands-on and fun approach to teaching STEM. According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), 21.5 million kids between the ages of 6 and 17 played sports in 2011. By implementing STEM education initiatives through sports programs, we can reach a variety of students to show the relationship between their favorite sports and their classroom lessons.”(more)