The New Games Mentoring Program addresses…
Rough play on the elementary playground has become an ongoing problem. Playground games easily go out of control and fights break out. Children often don’t know how to cooperate or resolve conflicts during play or in the classroom. Research shows that not learning these skills leads to anti-social behavior. Children learn cooperation in New Games modeled by older students. It’s an essential ingredient.
Childhood obesity is beginning to reach epidemic proportions. What is provided here are inclusive cooperative games that every child can join in, with the chance to help control their weight, regardless of their size or athletic ability. Next, children seem to be less enthusiastic to be a part of playground games than in the past. Whatever the reasons for their unfitness (too much time with the television or computer can be a factor), what is offered by participating in New Games is a chance for every child to play actively, which helps stem obesity.
Students are in need of meaningful cooperative play activities where they are treated with respect and as productive contributors. There are few leadership opportunities for youth where they can experience success. Without positive outlets for their energy, feelings of self worth are not established. With drugs and alcohol readily available, their resulting depression often becomes self destructive. Cooperative games give student mentors and the children they lead the feeling of success by the very fact that they can take part in a significant way. No one fails, and everyone has fun!
“I liked the way he got everyone included.”
“I’m glad I joined because it was fun.”
“I learnt the enjoyment of playing games and we want to share them with Year 7′s.”
An overall program goal of the New Games mentoring program is to increase the resiliency of students and children in the school community. By providing worthwhile, healthy, active alternatives for older students and children, this program will steer both away from self-destructive and abusive behavior. All participants become more able to cope with their lives when they have reason to feel good about themselves.
New Games has been doing this for general audiences since 1973 and trainer Dale N. Le Fevre, the designated consultant, has been involved full time since 1975. What is taught is a specific program for the particular school.
A number of older students will be chosen to learn and lead cooperative New Games. It is an opportunity for these students to learn democratic, inclusive, and responsive group leadership skills they can apply to more than games for groups. The basics of good leadership are as true for leading games as they are in any other endeavor.
The students will also learn a number of other skills:
- Learning how to encourage participation
- Setting the tone for cooperation
- Stimulating and encouraging creative expression
- Building enthusiasm
- Listening and adapting to the needs of children
It also offers these students a position of importance and a chance to be a mentor and leader. All of these build self-efficacy, plus feelings of competency and self worth.
Leadership Practice with New Games
After initial training, cooperative games can then be offered by the older students to the children during physical education (PE) times and/or lunch time or other recess periods with support from the playground supervisors. All children can be involved, including those who are normally left out of traditional highly competitive play.
This promotes greater understanding and acceptance, as well as cooperative behavior for both older students and elementary school children. In addition, there is a strong mentoring aspect to the program, which has been shown to support healthy behavior. In short, the little ones look up to the older students and love having them as games leaders.
To learn more, or book a mentoring program for your school, simply fill out the form below: