LiiNK Updates

January 2018

The LiiNK Team Wishes You a Happy Spring Semester!

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Tips From the Top

It’s a new year! Set a goal for you personally; set a goal for your family; set a goal for you professionally. Write them down. Make sure you can measure each one. Make sure it is realistic but challenging. Track your success with each goal. Reward yourself and your family when a goal is reached. Keep your goals manageable. If you strive for too many, none will be accomplished. Good luck with achieving your 2018 goals!

  • I wear a Fitbit so I can track how many steps I achieve daily. A healthy goal for all children and adults is to achieve 10,000 steps daily. If you have a step tracker of some kind, commit to tracking your steps and achieving the 10,000 daily. Most smart phones even have built in step counters. It is a new year afterall with new possibilities. I think you will find you feel better if you can move more throughout the day.
  • We have become an indoor society over the past 20 years and not even realized it. As a result, we tend to think the outdoors is only enjoyable for certain occasions. Break that mold! You will feel better if you take a break outside every 45 – 60 minutes for at least 10 minutes.
  • Children love to be outside – even in the cold! We have a section highlighted on the benefits of the outdoors later in the newsletter. Please take a look.

Dr. Rhea

Bundle Up, Because We're Going to Recess!

Remember, LiiNK campuses go outside for all four 15-minute recesses daily as long as it is safe to do so. According to the National Weather Service and CDC, it is safe to be outside for 20 minutes or less in temperatures/wind chill as low as 13 degrees F. Check out the flier below for more details!
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Recess Highlights:

Benefits of Being Outdoors - Even When it's Chilly!

In addition to providing an outlet for energy and creativity, being in nature has many other positive health effects. First, the immune system is strengthened through exposure to different temperatures/weather conditions and through the production of the natural hormone D3. Exposure to nature also initiates a parasympathetic response of the nervous system, which leads to the body being more relaxed and less stressed. Being in nature has also been shown to improve cognitive function and emotional well-being. Finally, with children going outside more, they are becoming more hardy and resilient. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of being in nature, be sure to check out Richard Louv's book, "Nature-Deficit Disorder."

LiiNK Feature on WFAA Channel 8 ABC

WFAA Channel 8 featured the LiiNK Project & Little Elm ISD. The story highlights Little Elm ISD as the first school district to implement LiiNK in all six of its elementary schools. Dr. Rhea describes how the project is creating healthier kids and how it is "creating a culture change ... so the kids are more relaxed and focused so learning can take place." Click on the link below to watch!
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Week 16) Thoughts - Ideas that result from thinking

Week 17) Actions - What you do or cause to happen

Week 18) Feelings - Emotions such as anger, fear, love, and worry

Week 19) Friendship - Caring between people who choose to be together

Week 20) Love - To show unconditional caring

Week 21) Empathy - To think how others feel

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Unit 4 Main Learning Targets

1. Getting Along with Others Using Emotional Positive Actions

Treat others how you want to be treated.

2. Positive ways of dealing with others

These include respect, empathy, friendliness, kindness, cooperation, and positiveness.

All grade levels practice telling themselves the truth, knowing themselves, not blaming others, admitting mistakes, not making excuses, and keeping their word.

-Positive Action

Connect With Your Students. Ask These Questions About Their Positive Action Lessons!

Kindergarten: How did Jareef feel at the beginning and end of the story? How did Pix-it and Nix-it help? Tell me about your Code of Conduct.

First Grade: What was the Spy Glass lesson about? What did you learn? Tell me about your Code of Conduct.

Second Grade: What is your personal code of conduct? What is your favorite fruit from the tree?

Third Grade: What did you learn from having a Secret Pal? How did your Secret Pal make you feel? What is your Code of Conduct?

Students practice cooperation during an indoor recess:

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LiiNK Goes to TAHPERD!

In December, the LiiNK team attended the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance 2017 Annual Convention, held in Fort Worth, TX. In addition to hearing from other researchers about some of the latest children's health research, LiiNK also had a presence there with two different presentations. Two of our recently graduated master’s students presented their combined thesis results with the main message that LiiNK students are happier and more active than students without multiple play breaks and character development. Dr. Rhea and Mr. Gallagher, Little Elm ISD Superintendent, were the keynote speakers for a two hour workshop on whether unstructured, outdoor play is all that everyone thinks it is and how can schools do things differently to improve brain function and healthy development of children through outdoor play and character development. This workshop was designed to reach school district administrators attending the conference.
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The LiiNK Challenge this week is to take three unplugged (no technology) 15-minute walks outside with your kids. What do you notice? What do you see? What do you smell? How do you feel when you come back inside? We'd love to hear from you!

Recommended Reads

LiiNK Leadership Team

Dr. Debbie Rhea (Creator & Director)

Alex Rivchun, MS, MBA (Project Manager)

Laura Clark, MS (Communications Coordinator)

Carol Bollinger, MS (Field Manager)

Candice Williams-Martin, MEd (LiiNK Specialist - EMS-ISD)

Kim Jones, MEd (Lead Trainer/Observer)

Dave Farbo, MS (Research Associate)


LiiNK thanks Candice Williams-Martin for gathering several sections of the newsletter!