Alaska elementary schools and groups are signing up to help kids complete a half hour of organized physical activity — all at the same time in communities across the state.
These young students will be participating in the second PLAAY Day, scheduled for Thursday morning, Feb. 22, 2018. PLAAY stands for Positive Leadership for Active Alaska Youth. Our partner, the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame, is running PLAAY Day to help Alaska children get active for good health.
During the first PLAAY Day in February 2017, more than 100 schools and organizations participated.
"We were thrilled to bring 10,000 Alaska youth from across the state together for a shared experience,” said Harlow Robinson, executive director of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame and co-organizer of PLAAY Day. “We look forward to growing those numbers with the 2018 PLAAY Day."
During PLAAY Day, schools and groups across Alaska will organize a half-hour session at 10 a.m. when students in school gyms, classrooms, recreation centers, common spaces or even outside will get up and get moving. Students from the University of Alaska Anchorage Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation along with Anchorage-based youth will lead the children in an organized — and synchronized — fun session of physical activity. Children will be able to participate at their appropriate levels and physical abilities. Physical activities included during PLAAY Day will be able to be modified and adapted to include students of all abilities, Robinson said.
The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) and GCI will link all of these schools and groups through a free, live videoconferencing session. Schools and organizations can participate in different ways, from toll free dialing into a conference with video playing at their location to interactive video teleconference participation.
"Thanks to technological support from the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and GCI, we've been able to connect children from every corner of the state around a common cause,” Robinson said.
Physical activity is linked with many benefits, including increased concentration and focus at school, improved classroom attendance and behavior, better academic performance, and improved overall health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
. PLAAY Day will help Alaska kids get closer to the national recommendation of 60 minutes of physical activity needed every day
for the best health. It will help children complete the February Healthy Futures Challenge
, when kids across Alaska will be logging their daily physical activity through logs distributed at elementary schools. PLAAY Day also supports the implementation of Alaska’s Physical Activity in Schools Law
, which calls on districts to establish guidelines to provide opportunities for almost one hour of daily physical activity for all students in grades kindergarten through 8.
Schools can sign up now for PLAAY DAY
and will receive more information about the event as the date gets closer. Interested schools and groups can register as an entire school, a classroom, a home school, or an organization.
Along with organizing PLAAY Day, the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame will run the PLAAY Summit
on Feb. 23 and 24, 2018, in Anchorage at ANTHC. The Summit will feature experts from around the state who will help teachers, parents, nurses, coaches, administrators and other leaders address many areas of youth and adolescent health, including psychological, social and emotional development. The PLAAY Summit also will focus on physical activity as a way to improve health.
Partners of the PLAAY Day and PLAAY Summit include Healthy Futures, ANTHC, GCI, the Alaska Center for Pediatrics, the Children’s Hospital at Providence, the Anchorage School District Department of Health and Physical Education, Bristol Bay Native Corporation, Maniilaq Association, Play Every Day, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, University of Alaska Anchorage, The Alaska Club, Anchorage Running Club, Bear Tooth, Kaladi Brothers, and others.