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Physical Activity Leaders (PAL) Club

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Overview

The Physical Activity Leaders (PAL) club is an opportunity for older students to work with younger students on various physical activities and enhance their leadership skills. Physical education teachers work with PAL students to prepare, assist and supervise younger students. PAL students lead activities for the younger students, serve as peer support for students of all abilities, promote physical activity and serve as role models for healthy behaviors.

Take Action

Trying to find ways to engage older students to promote physical activity and be positive role models? Look no further than the Physical Activity Leaders (PAL) club. The PAL club builds characteristics and knowledge needed to be an effective leader. Start a PAL club at your school by following these steps:

  • With your , discuss what a PAL club will look like in your school
  • How many students will participate? What grades will be eligible to serve as leaders?
  • How will students be nominated or picked to be a part of the program?
  • Who will serve as the leader/advisor? This will likely be a school staff member who will work with other adults to establish a program that develops the leadership skills of older students.
  • In what activities will PAL students participate? For example, PAL students may help lead physical activity breaks in the classroom or demonstrate proper techniques in PE class. They may also serve as healthy role models for younger students.
  • How will participating students can enhance school wide initiatives?
  • Engage your physical education teacher(s), who may be helpful in providing information about the ways that students may assist in promoting and leading physical activities.
  • Set up a schedule of meetings/trainings where PAL students learn how to be effective leaders as well as skills for leading physical activities. This will help them feel equipped and knowledgeable for their roles.
      • Student leaders must learn about specific activities that are appropriate for younger students and understand the safety requirements for each activity. The students will be acting under the supervision of an adult activity leader reinforcing the directions, game rules and assisting students who have difficulty.
  • Pair physical activity leaders with younger students – For example, a PAL student may work with a kindergarten class by leading one brain break each week. Or, a PAL student may be matched up with a peer with special needs to help him/her fully participate in PE class.

 

Tips

The PAL club may be organized similarly to other school clubs, especially other general leadership clubs such as Student Council and Safety Patrol.

Students who are part of the PAL club will learn and foster skills such as: Enthusiasm, empathy for students that have limited ability, respect of all students, ability to give directions clearly and motivation to help others.

Ensure all students have equal opportunity to participate. Modify leader tasks and roles to support the capabilities of the students with disabilities.

Consider having the PAL club be a course elective for older students.

Meet regularly with PAL students to ensure students feel supported and understand their role and expectations.

Engage volunteers in your network who have skills or interests that complement your needs.