Category Archives for News

We Can’t Thank You Enough

The year is waning, and soon we’ll be ringing in 2020. Before we gear up and finish the year, now is a good time to pause and reflect on the importance of 2019 and all that has occurred.

Every Year Is Important

At Skillastics, our mission is to create positive physical activity for all children—the heartbeat of our work is providing for children so they have the ability to stay physically active and enjoy the feeling of physical health. To our core, we believe that children who enjoy physical activity will feel the effects beyond just within their bodies but also in other ways, becoming healthier in all aspects of their lives.

This belief is our driving force because we passionately see a connection between physical health and the ability for a child to live a full and meaningful life, to engage with the world and make a difference. We need children to fulfill their entire purpose, and we wholeheartedly believe that physical activity is the ticket.

The Importance of You

And we couldn’t do it without you, our customers who are the vehicle to bringing children through to the other side, from struggling to engaging with life. You are the front line that reaches these children, finds them at their baseline, and guides them forward. We appreciate you.

We are well aware that when you work with Skillastics, you’re taking our mission and leading the charge to bring children hope, opportunity, and access to a better future, for themselves and others. It’s a big deal to us, and we appreciate the dedication you have to children and the work you do.

Before the year ends and we focus on the new year, we want to thank you, our customers, for the work you’ve accomplished this year. We want to highlight your efforts and the meaningful work you do. Without you, children may or may not succeed, but with you, they have that chance to thrive. When you spend your time with these children and use Skillastics to break down barriers to physical activity, then you’re contributing to something bigger and greater.

We can’t thank you enough.

Something for You This Year

As a gesture and token of our appreciation, we are offering FREE Skillastics Task Cards as a show of Gratitude this year. Just email us your contact info including your mailing address (below) and we’ll mail an extra set of Skillastics Task cards to the first 100 customers that respond. We want to support your work, and we want you to feel the magnitude of your influence on children.

Thank you for working with us to achieve our mission and bring lasting health to children through physical activity.

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15 Days to March Madness – Sandy Spin Slade on Facebook Live

In celebration of March Madness, Sandy Spin Slade is posting for 15 days straight, starting on February 25th, 15 basketball skills that you can share with your students.

​Simple checkout the Skillastics® Facebook page at 12:00 noon EST on February 25th and watch LIVE!

CLICK HERE to view promo video.

NFL FLAG-In-Schools Curriculum Comes to Life with New Easy-to-Use Online Training Modules

The NFL, USA Football, GENYOUth and Fuel Up to Play 60 have teamed with SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators to develop a new NFL FLAG-In-Schools online training course for health and physical educators. Designed for use in grades 3-8, these activities align with SHAPE America’s National Standards & Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education (PE), and are easy to integrate into existing PE curriculums or for use before, during or after school.

The popular NFL FLAG-In-Schools program aims to increase physical activity among youth by providing flag football resources to schools in underserved communities. This dynamic online course offers video-based instruction, animated lessons and tips from experienced educators to help physical educators bring this program to life for their students.

Lessons included in this curriculum are broken down into four sections that mimic a NFL player’s playing experiences; Mini Camp, Organized Team Activities (OTA’s), Pre-Season and Regular Season. Each lesson uses a combination of individual and small and large group skill development activities.
Seven modules are featured in the course:
Module 1 – NFL FLAG-In-Schools Program Overview
Module 2 – Lesson Format in the NFL FLAG Football Curriculum
Module 3 – Teaching Cues in the NFL FLAG Football Curriculum
Module 4 – NFL FLAG-In-Schools Game Rules
Module 5 – Sample Elementary School Activities from the Curriculum
Module 6 – Sample Middle School Activities from the Curriculum
Module 7 – Communication & Extending Flag Football Beyond PE

Get started today and put students on the path to health and physical literacy using this skills-rich, fun online course. Also available is a kid-friendly SHAPE America national standards poster to print and hang-up in schools to reinforce the lessons they have learned.
The NFL, USA Football, GENYOUth and Fuel Up to Play 60 first introduced the NFL FLAG-In-Schools Kits in 2014, resulting in 4.3 million students becoming more active before, during and after school. This year, NFL FLAG Kits will be distributed to an additional 4,700 schools nationwide, reaching approximately 2.6 million new students. The expansion was made possible by a renewed commitment from the NFL Foundation, amounting to nearly $1.5 million Each kit, which has been provided to schools free of charge, includes footballs, flag belts, kicking tees, posters and access to the online curriculum. To date, the program has resulted in 6.9 million students becoming more active in more than 13,000 schools in all 32 NFL club markets.

To learn more about NFL FLAG-In-Schools, visit FuelUpToPlay60.com. To find or start an NFL FLAG league in your community, visit NFLPlayFootball.com and for updates follow @NFLPlayFootball and @GENYOUth on Twitter.

5 Simple Solutions on Finding Funding for Skillastics®

So, you’re loving Skillastics® but only have $200 in your annual budget to spend on Physical Education resources? Don’t give up easily! There are many ways to get the funding, and we’re here to help.
Below are some ideas on how you can find the funds to get the Skillastics® Activity Kit System into your program.

1) Go to www.donorschoose.org and explain on the site what you want and why you want it. (if you need any additional information or videos, we would be happy to provide it to you). 85% of submissions are funded!!! Please email us at info@skillastics.com for more information.

2) Visit your local Walmart or Lowe’s. Tell them that you are a teacher and you were wondering if they have any grants available for schools. Share the reasons why you are seeking funding and why. It’s usually a very simple application, and if a grant is available there is a good chance you will get funded.

3) Local Kiwanis or other service organizations in your area. Put on a short presentation about your program, sharing your goals and objectives for your students. There is a very high percentage that you will get funded. We would be happy to provide you with information and/or videos to help streamline this process for you. Email us at info@skillastics.com for more information.

4) PTA or PTO at your school. If you would like help with your PowerPoint presentation, please contact us at info@skillastics.com.

5) Explore other funding sources in your District or School. For example, if you are interested in purchasing STEM Skillastics®, reach out to your STEM Coordinator or Principal and explain to them that you are interested in incorporating STEM Learning into your PE program. I promise you they will be thrilled to hear this and will provide you with the funding if you have it.

With a little effort, you will have the Skillastics® Activity Kit System included in your program! Numerous Physical Education Specialists have shared with us that they wish they would have discovered all the local grant opportunities earlier in their career.

Learn from an NBA Star

Several years ago, I was looking at our sales database and I recognized the name, Kendal Gill. Kendall Gill was a journeyman that played many years in the NBA. I was intrigued that an NBA player would have purchased some of my products.

A couple weeks later I get this phone call and the man on the other line said: “Hi Sandy, I know who you are. Do you know who I am? My name is Kendall Gill.” He exclaimed, “I’ve been in the NBA for 12 years now and this summer I am dedicating my summer to learning how to handle the basketball better because I want to be able to hang with the younger guys.” He continued, “I purchased some of your DVD’s, and they helped me out a lot, but I was wondering if you could give me some one-on-one lessons.”

I thought to myself, this guy makes a lot of money, he’s in the NBA, yet he’s asking me, a woman, to help him handle the basketball better. But more importantly I thought, this guy is a winner. He was an established player in the NBA. For the most part he could have chosen to just go through the motions, but he wanted to get better and it didn’t matter that I was a woman. He believed that I could help him improve.”

It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting to play basketball or an NBA great like Kendall Gill, you can always learn more from coaches, parents and others who may have valuable knowledge to share.

Kendall Gill’s work ethic is something to admire.

Light the Olympic Torch! Winter Olympic Theme Resources Guaranteed to Inspire Your Students

Can you believe it, the Winter Olympics begin early next month! Even though opening ceremonies are less than a month away, you still have time to knock out some amazing Olympic theme lessons. Here are some ideas;

1) An amazing winter Olympic resource is Bfit4 Winter Skillastics®. This Skillastics® Activity Kit focuses on specific movements that Olympic athletes need to develop in winter sports such as snowboarding, skiing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

With your guidance, students can imagine themselves in the role while they are downhill skiing as they perform lateral jumps, or pretend balancing on a snowboard or holding plank position on their sled as they race down the hill. (All activities included in Bfit4 Winter Skillastics®). The skills will enhance many components of the physically fit student by building strength, flexibility, endurance and balance needed for these winter activities.
It can be played with a fun twist to the traditional game as well by adding a lap of popular winter activities around your gym in between rolls of the die. For example, students might simulate snow shoeing or ice skating (shoe boxes), as well as cross country skiing (old rags), or sledding and the luge run (scooters).


BFit4 Winter Skillastics® is a fun, easy, active and an innovative way to celebrate the Winter Olympics and bring the outdoor world of winter activities into your existing program.
CLICK HERE to share the Bfit4 Winter Skillastics® Experience with your students today! In honor of the Olympics, we are offering a 15% discount. Use code BF418 at our storefront checkout or mention code on purchase order. Offer Expires February 4, 2018.

2) In addition, CLICK HERE for great ideas to recreate Winter Olympic events

Join SHAPE America, March 20-24, in Music City!

Attention health and physical educators! Join Skillastics®’ first Physical Activity Grant Winners at the SHAPE America National Convention & Expo, March 20-24, 2018 in Nashville, TN. Get ready for a professional development experience that will empower you to transform your classroom and your school into extraordinary student learning experiences. Save up to $75 by registering before February 16. The Society of Health and Physical Educators’ national convention is held in partnership with SHAPE America Southern District and Tennessee AHPERD.

SHAPE America has planned for health and physical educators inspiring speakers, focused programming and networking events in one of the country’s favorite cities – Nashville. You will find 300 + sessions for health and physical educators focused on standards-based curriculum, effective instructional practices, evidence-based assessment and more.

The week’s activities kick off Tuesday, March 20, when you are invited to bring your assessment challenges to the workshop, “Practical Assessment of National Standards and Grade-Level Outcomes with PE Metrics.” Based on the all-new edition of this popular SHAPE America resource, the workshop will provide you with suggestions on appropriate assignments and the skills to develop sample assessments for tracking student progress. That afternoon another new SHAPE America publication called Lesson Planning for Skills-Based Health Education in the Secondary Classroom will be featured in a four-hour workshop.

At Wednesday’s opening General Session with internationally known educator Stephen Ritz, Stephen will share how we can transform schools with collaboration, coalition and get-to-yes solutions. On Thursday Olympic Gold Medalist Benita Fitzgerald Mosley who is now the CEO of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA, will illustrate how sport can be used as a tool for social change. 50 Million Strong by 2029 is the theme of Friday’s General Session which will dive into advocacy, health practices and effective teacher instruction– tools to put all children on the path to health and physical literacy through effective health and physical education programs. Popular health educator Deborah Tackmann will talk about the new risks facing today’s youth and offer solutions for creating effective school health and wellness programs.

Also joining us will be the legendary Dr. Kenneth Cooper. “I’m pleased to be this year’s keynote speaker for the Research Quarterly Exercise Science lecture,” said Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the “Father of Aerobics” and author of the pivotal book Aerobics. “I applaud what our physical educators are doing every day, and sharing the 50th anniversary of Aerobics with those who are directly on the front lines of shaping the health of our next generation is an honor.”

From the latest in ESSA funding to trends in instruction, fitness and technology as well as our popular Opening Celebration at the Famous Saloon and the Hall of Fame Banquet, you will find plenty of opportunities to network with teachers and researchers from around the country. As always, a must-see at the convention will be the exhibit hall featuring hundreds of the latest educational products and services.

This largest gathering of health and physical educators only happens once a year. So get ready to:
• Become a more effective health/physical educator and learn from experts in the profession
• Grow your network and build new relationships
• Celebrate award-winning peers from around the country
• Discover valuable new programs, products and services for your HPE program
• Learn to be a stronger advocate for HPE in your school, community and state
• Earn SHAPE America Contact Hours through hands-on workshops and sessions
Get inspired and rejuvenated by a professional development experience that will help you prepare all children to live their best life.

5 Reasons Why Skillastics® Will Make Your Program Great

 

Can you imagine your job getting easier, and more productive?  What if you could maximize participation without wasting the limited time you have?  Wouldn’t it be great to have a resource at your disposal guaranteeing a glowing administrative review?

With Skillastics® you can.

The Skillastics® Activity Kit System is a powerful resource that will transform your program. Not Convinced? Following are 5 key reasons why Skillastics® will undeniably make your program great.

1) Increase Academic Learning
A requirement you are constantly hearing from your administration. Skillastics® bridges the gap between physical activity and academics by seamlessly incorporating vocabulary, literacy, math and STEM learning. Skillastics® is an innovative way of including more academic integration.

2) Connecting with Classroom Teachers
What makes Skillastics® stand out beyond any other physical activity resource is its ability to connect directly with classroom teachers through the Skillastics® Custom Question Card Templates for nutrition, STEM and math. Simply share these templates with classroom teachers and ask them to create questions that are relevant to the lessons that they are currently teaching. You would then take these questions and add them to your program while your students are playing Skillastics®. Instant connection!

3) Organized Chaos
The best large group resource available! You will not find a better large group resource out there. Period. Any instructor that is using Skillastics® properly will tell you that the Skillastics® Activity Kit System exceeds their expectations and reinforces all the reasons why they decided to add Skillastics® to their program.

4) Steller Assessment
It is crucial to assess students to make sure they are really learning. If you, your students, parents, and administration truly want to see fitness progression in your class, the Skillastics® Activity Kit System is the most effective resource to measure movement in a variety of ways.

Fully Engaged
Students are full engaged, which frees you up to conduct formative assessment,    measuring all students progress and mastery of skill without interruption.

Effective Feedback
With students fully engaged, Skillastics® provides a more relaxed atmosphere for feedback and individual instruction when needed.

Summative Assessment with Technology
Skillastics® is the most effective resource to measure student outcomes using heart rate monitors or other technology based devices.

5) The Skillastics® Activity Kit System Saves Time
Do you see your student’s once a week? Twice a week if you’re lucky? How many times do you see a new lesson activity that looks like fun, but takes much too long to set up? The innovative Skillastics® technique takes less than a minute to set up and allows for maximum participation while increasing fitness levels.

Introducing the Skillastics® Activity Kit System into your program will exceed your expectations and fulfill all your objectives. Visit www.skillastics.com or email us at info@skillastics.com to transform your program today.

CDC and SHAPE America Help Schools Make the Most of This Critical Part of the School Day

Schools across the country will now have step-by-step guidance and evidence-based strategies to support school recess for all K-12 students and enhance active school environments.  The two new guidance documents, Strategies for Recess in Schools and Recess Planning in Schools: A Guide to Putting Strategies for Recess Into Practice, were recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators, and can be downloaded free of charge at:

http://shapeamerica.org/recess

“This is a milestone in our quest to increase children’s physical activity levels.  Daily recess, monitored by well-trained staff or volunteers, can optimize a child’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development,” says SHAPE America Chief Executive Officer E. Paul Roetert, Ph.D. “Recess contributes to the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity for students and helps them apply the knowledge and skills they learn in an effective health and physical education program. In addition, recess supports 50 Million Strong, SHAPE America’s commitment to empower all kids to lead active and healthy lives.”

The guidance documents provide a blueprint for schools to use in implementing successful recess programs for their students. They are designed for state and school district leaders who provide technical assistance and professional development on recess, as well as classroom teachers, recess and playground supervisors, support staff, school administrators, parent-teacher organizations, school health coordinators, advisory councils, parents and anyone interested in supporting recess in schools.

Strategies for Recess in Schools defines recess and identifies 19 evidence-based strategies schools can implement that increase student physical activity and academic achievement. Although most of the evidence and expert opinion for these strategies came from elementary schools, many of the strategies are also applicable to secondary schools.  The intent is for school staff or groups working with schools to identify what is currently happening or not happening with recess in their school, and then use this information to develop a recess plan that serves all students.

Recess Planning in Schools: A Guide to Putting Strategies for Recess Into Practice complements the strategies document by guiding schools through the process of developing a written recess plan that incorporates the identified strategies. In addition, CDC and SHAPE America developed a customizable Recess Planning Template, which enables schools to record details of how they will organize and implement recess at school.

The new recess documents will be featured at a program session called “Strategies for Recess in Schools” at the organization’s National Convention in Boston on Tuesday, March 14 from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm. Attendees will learn how recess can help students increase their daily physical activity and contribute to achieving the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day.  The new resources will help schools develop a comprehensive plan for recess to increase students’ participation in physical activity and improve their academic achievement.

By diving into each of the five broad categories included in the Strategies for Recess in Schools document, school staff or committees will be able to answer specific questions which will help them examine and enhance an existing recess program, or develop a new recess plan for a school.

Download the two new guidance documents, Strategies for Recess in Schools and Recess Planning in Schools: A Guide to Putting Strategies for Recess Into Practice, free of charge at:

www.shapeamerica.org/recess

Follow the conversation using #SHAPErecess and #recess.

Fuel Up to Play 60 Supplement for Your Application

We’ve made it easy for you!

If you would like to include Skillastics® and Skillastics® Nutritional Cards in your Fuel Up to Play 60 Application, CLICK HERE for information.

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