Recognizing the challenges presented by COVID-19, we want to ensure that all children have a chance to learn, socialize and be active in environments that are physically and emotionally safe.
As critical as safety is at this time, we also shouldn't overlook or forget the importance of Play. Play is essential to the cognitive, physical, social and emotional wellbeing of children and youth. It contributes to healthy brain development, stimulates creativity and focus, and aids in the development of positive relationships and social skills.
Take the Lead! is a program offered by SPRA that empowers youth ages 11-14 to be leaders of active play in their schools and communities. Along with activity planning, Take the Lead! Youth Leaders learn about communication, positive leadership, inclusion and teamwork. These skills are especially valuable within the COVID-19 environment and we hope Youth Leaders can continue to be a positive influence on play for schools and communities.
On September 1, we launched the 2020-2021 Take the Lead! Training Assistance Program Grant to help support schools and communities in becoming or staying involved in the program. SPRA understands that in these circumstances there may need to be additional physical activity equipment purchased or a need to train additional groups of Youth Leaders, and this grant can help with that.
Coming soon is a new Take the Lead! resource that will highlight games/activities that promote physical distancing. For now, check out some of these resources which can support your planning for Play:
I'll have more to share about this new Take the Lead! resource as soon as it's available.