Head Start Body Start National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play today announced the Social Development Commission (SDC) Head Start Program as one of 436 recipients of a grant to improve the outdoor play space at the Head Start North facility at 606 W. Concordia Avenue in Milwaukee. The Head Start Center can purchase value added packages from the vendor Play with a Purpose who was selected by a team of evaluators for the packages’ developmental appropriateness, safety, and both play and monetary value. The National Center was created through a federal grant to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) and the American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation (AAPAR) from the Office of Head Start.
According to SDC Head Start Director Gail Porath, “We appreciate Head Start Body Start for helping us evaluate our play spaces and educate our children and their families about the value of physical activity and playing outdoors, in particular. This grant will enable our Head Start North Center to encourage constructive play that will, in turn, allow our young students to grow up into healthy and strong young women and men.”
In addition to the play space improvement, the SDC Head Start North site will have access to online courses, webinars and resource materials.
Head Start Body Start National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play (HSBS) is a project of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) and the American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation (AAPAR), which are associations of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). Funding for HSBS is provided by the Office of Head Start (OHS), Administration for Children and Families, US Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of HSBS is to increase physical activity, outdoor play and healthy eating among Head Start and Early Head Start children, families and staff. HSBS will assist Head Start programs in creating healthy learning environments, both in and outside the classroom, through structured and unstructured physical activity that leads to the physical, cognitive, social and emotional development of young children and reduces obesity and its associated costs. HSBS has three main objectives:
- to inform and assist OHS in setting national priorities and developing policies;
- to provide resources, training and technical assistance to Head Start and Early Head Start grantees; and
- to administer and support grants for construction or improvement of outdoor play spaces at Head Start centers.