The Power of Play Initiative
The Park District of Oak Park is poised to change the model of recreation programs through the Power of Play Program to positively impact our youth participants. Research has shown that youth between the ages 5-12 who sample a variety of sports and activities acquire the tools needed to successfully participate in multiple activities throughout life. The goal of the Power of Play Program is for all children to be physically literate by age 12. That is, every 12-year-old should have the ability, confidence, and desire to be physically active for life.
Competency in basic movement skills and an overall fitness that allows individuals to engage in a variety of games and activities. This outcome is achieved through a mix of informal play and intentional teaching of movement skills such as running, balancing, gliding, hopping, skipping, jumping, dodging, falling, swimming, kicking, throwing and a range of skills that require general hand-eye coordination.
Knowing that you have the ability to play sports or enjoy other physical activities. It is the result of programs that are inclusive of people with differing abilities, and the support and encouragement from parents, coaches, administrators, teammates and peers throughout the development process.
Intrinsic enthusiasm for physical activity, whether in organized or unstructured formats, in traditional or alternative sports. This result is achieved through early positive experiences that are fun and motivate children to do their best.
In the Fall 2016 program guide, you will find several programs for ages 5-12 accompanied by one of six Power of Play symbols that represent Rhythm & Coordination, Power, Speed & Agility, Hand-Eye Coordination, Balance & Core, and Cognitive Development. (see below) These skills are integral ingredients in developing physically literate youth. By participating in programs which focus on sharpening each of these skills each year, our youth will be well on their way to becoming more physically literate and ultimately being active for life. That is the POWER of Play.
For more information on the statistics above and the national Project Play data, please reference the Aspen Institute Project Play Report.