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Teacher: Carol Chase who teaches at Lake Harriet Community School - lower campus in Minneapolis, MN. Carol Chase can be contacted at cchase@mpls.k12.mn.us.

Name of Best Practice: Achieving Lifetime Physical Activity (ALPhA)

Rationale/Purpose of Event: The purpose of ALPhA is to promote healthy lifetime fitness activity and activity habits in the lives of our students. It encourages goal-setting and working toward a goal, positive physical activity, and family involvement.

Suggested Grade Level: K-8

Materials Needed: Introduction letter sent home, contract returned to school with stated goal, monthly incentives and yearly incentives for those involved

Achieving Lifetime Physical Activity (ALPhA)

An introduction letter is sent home in the fall, introducing ALPhA and inviting students/families to participate. The program runs for 7 months (Nov - May).

Students (with parent help) decide on a monthly goal - how many minutes of exercise they will challenge themselves to do each month. Their monthly goal then determines their annual goal (monthly goal X 7). Students must return a contract with their goal in order to participate. They then receive an ALPhA calendar each month for recording activity and minutes.

Each month the calendars are returned and those who return them receive an incentive. I use shoelaces with beads. They receive the shoelace the first month and they receive 4 beads to add to it for each calendar returned. If their goal is met for the month, they receive a special bonus token to add to the top of their beads for the month. At the end of the year, participants receive an ALPhA water bottle. After 2 years of participation, they receive an ALPhA t-shirt. Each year of participating, they receive a certificate. I have had great positive feedback from parents through the years and the students get excited to return their calendars and receive their beads.

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Posted on PEC: 2/7/2007 and has received 88 votes.

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