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Date:9/17/2008

Harvard Family Research Project, which tracked Sports4Kids at a Boston elementary school over the course of one year, found 83 percent of teachers said that student classroom behavior improved and 91 percent found kids more cooperative.

"Study after study has underscored the importance of physical activity for health benefits," explained Jill Vialet, who founded Sports4Kids 12 years ago in Berkeley, California. "Principals are investing in resources on the playground because of the positive impact it has on the classroom. Healthy bodies are leading to healthier minds. It's time we started taking play seriously."

The organization puts trained adults on the playground to introduce classic games that are disappearing from schoolyards, like kickball and four square, as well as new games designed to build leadership and foster teamwork. Sports4Kids coaches, many of whom are part of AmeriCorps, also give kids simple tools, like Rock-Paper-Scissors, to avoid fights and keep games going.

Sports4Kids works with local school principals and administrators, foundations, businesses and other nonprofit organizations in the community to identify the need and demand for the program. This partnership is a crucial element in the program's long-term sustainability and success.

CONTACT:

Emily Dulcan, (415) 901-0111, edulcan@fenton.com

Jenny Park, (415) 901-0111, jpark@fenton.com


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SOURCE Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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