Playworks Visits Saint Mary's: Update from Bill Manning, Graduate Kinesiology

Hi Everyone,

If you haven't seen the Facebook postings on our 1/19 Playworks Training, I encourage you to go the the Kinesiology Facebook page or to Playworks Facebook page to check us out. Thirteen of us had a very fun day!

Participants included current graduate students Miwa Natsuki & Esayas Habtemarium, soon to be graduate student Andy Moren, M.A. alumni Eleanor Eldredge & Blair Smith, B.A. alumni Mike Peterson & Jaime Santoyo, faculty members Rebecca Conception, Craig Johnson, Kelly Clark & Bill Manning, faculty spouse Jody Johnson and Marketing Director for Graduate & Professional Studies, Jane Joyce.

We met for coffee at 10am in chilly Madigan (was it actually colder inside than out?) and had a nice time networking & socializing. From 10:30 until noon, the Playworks coaches, accompanied by  Executive Director Alison Townley,  led us in playing many of the games they use on school playgrounds to bring order, safety and fun to recess. We also saw a brief video explaining what Playworks is accomplishing around the country (24 states, thousands of children and hundreds of very satisfied school administrators and teachers--their website shares some very impressive information on decreasing bullying as well). Following a pizza lunch in our office conference room, many of us watched as our Women's basketball team notched another impressive victory!

Next steps include necessary paperwork with Playworks in order that they can do required backgrounds checks (for those who did the training access forms via their website). Once we have completed this, we will then volunteer on one or more of their 33 schools in the East Bay. This should be coordinated with their Volunteer Director (again via the Playworks website). */If you missed the training and still want to participate, contact Playworks directly./*

Since we have hundreds of Kinesiology alumni (with varied interests) scattered throughout the Bay Area, we are thus interested in offering multiple opportunities for service. To this end, I met last week with Katie Batlin (2012 Kines B.A. in sport management!) who recently became a staff member with Special Olympics ( her dream job so congratulations to Katie!). One of her first tasks is to drum up interest in the Polar Plunge (, one of the many fund raising events for Special Olympics.

Though I am not keen on cold baths (!!), I have volunteered to be Team Leader for our GO GAELS Polar Plunge Team (we CAN use wetsuits!). The event will be held on February 23 at Aquatic Park in San Francisco. I am hoping that nine of you will join me to take the PLUNGE. Each of us needs to commit to raise $125 (friends & family). So, sign up ASAP by emailing me directly.

There is a second Plunge scheduled in Santa Cruz on March 16 for those of you who live down that way. Our Kines alumni colleague Jenn Foster Flanigan lives in Santa Cruz so I am hoping that she will partner with me to lead our GO GAEL team there (what say Jenn?). If you are keen to join us on 3/16 email me right away.

That's all for now. I hope that you are all fine and enjoying life. I enjoy the emails I get from you letting me know what you're doing these days. If you haven't checked in, please do so at your convenience.

Best wishes,