Phone: (917) 716-5228
Children Develop The Core Life Skillset
in a wide variety of physical skills, as well as social and emotional intelligence.
development focusing on integrity and strength, thereby building a positive identity.
to try new things and overcome obstacles.
of body and mind to build healthy relationships with themselves and others.
to believe in their abilities and honor themselves.
When I was young, I was never physically active. I wasn’t coordinated, struggled with my weight and hated gym class. I didn’t know how to play sports and was afraid of embarrassing myself.
As I got older, regardless of successes in other areas of my life, those same feelings of inadequacy resurfaced. When I became a mother, I was committed to making sure that my daughters developed positive feelings about being physically active. Despite my efforts (including their participation in various programs), that didn’t happen. I was determined to change that.
After countless hours of research, observations, and conversations, I figured out the missing piece. Facilitating dialogue between the children while engaged in physical activity would build their confidence. So I sought out programs that took this approach, but came up empty-handed.
I decided to create a physical activity program that would provide opportunities for children to engage in face-to-face dialogue about such important topics -in context. As a result, children would have the powerful realization that they are not alone in their thoughts and feelings, which would build comfort and confidence. They would be more likely to participate. Try something new. Problem-solve. Challenge themselves. Take risks. Be resilient and persistent. They would use these valuable skills every day of their life.
It’s long been touted that sports teaches life skills. Professor of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta, Canada, Nick Holt says, “Positive outcomes, such as life skills, must be directly taught…They do not naturally occur just by playing.” Our curriculum would adopt this philosophy and connect the dots so children would learn how to apply these skills to everyday experiences. Through this approach, we would also provide children with the tools to build healthy relationships with themselves and with others, as well as to effectively navigate their world.
Building PAALS and facilitating classes with children has been an incredibly gratifying experience. I have been fortunate to witness the transformations that have resulted from their participation in the program. I also feel privileged that children,parents and teachers have shared personal stories of success that they attribute to PAALS. Knowing that these children will grow up feeling strong and healthy is my greatest reward.