Physical Activity and Life Skills (PALS) Group

Funded Projects

Belizean Youth Sport Coalition (BYSC) Project

The Physical Activity and Life Skills (PALS) Group which is supported by the NIU-CEA was recently awarded a grant for $224,956 from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. This grant will fund a three year project, to support youth sport organizations in Belize to integrate youth development into their programs and coaching practices.

The Belizean Youth Sport Coalition (BYSC) Project will involve two-way exchange, training for program directors and coaches, as well as ongoing consulting and evaluation. Dr. Paul Wright, Director of the PALS Group, is the project director. His co-directors include Drs. Jim Ressler and Bill Pitney from the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education as well as Dr. Lina Ong from NIU's Office of International Affairs.

Read more about the project on the Events page. The Belize delegation has traveled to the United States, and the US delegation has recently returned from their visit to Belize.

Clinton Rosette Middle School, DeKalb

Drs. Paul Wright and Jim Ressler have recently been awarded a $5,000 grant from the C. Charles Jackson Foundation to support an after-school program for students at Clinton Rosette Middle School who have been identified as having trouble with academic performance and/or behavioral issues. The grant will fund a student-led health promotion project for the school community as well as a summer-time adventure education experience at the Loredo Taft field campus for youth participants. This action research project will be completed in 2013.

Drs. Jim Ressler and Jenny Parker have secured a total of $21,953 to support the Physical Education Professional Development School (PDS) at Clinton Rosette Middle School. This includes external support from the DeKalb Education Foundation ($2,770) and the Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance ($1,483). Internal support ($17,700) has come from NIU's Partnership Office, NIU's KNPE Department, and the Center for the Improvement of Undergraduate Education. This ongoing action research project was initiated in 2012.

e-journals in Blackboard

Dr. Jin Jung received a Research & Artistry grant from NIU in the amount of $7,800 to support his research on using e-journals in Blackboard to promote pre-service teachers' reflections during elementary physical education field experience. This research project spans the 2012-2013 academic year.

Head Start Body Start National Center for Physical Education

Drs. Paul Wright, Clersida Garcia and Laurie Zittel recently completed their evaluation of the Head Start Body Start National Center for Physical Activity and Outdoor Play. This $164,000 evaluation contract began in October 2011 and was successfully completed in September 2012.