Tuesday, January 27, 2015

City of Ann Arbor's new park smoking ban is a win for Rec & Ed participants

Jenna Bacolor, Executive Director, Rec & Ed

Visitors to 77 of Ann Arbor's city parks will need to refrain from smoking beginning February 1, when the new park smoking ban goes into effect. Ann Arbor joins numerous cities -- including New York, Chicago, and Houston -- in making municipal park spaces smoke-free. 

"The ordinance is intended to protect the health of our park visitors, many of whom are children, by reducing exposure to secondhand smoke [and] keeping our parks clean by reducing litter," said Parks Advisory Commission Chair David Santacroce.

So what does this have to do with Rec & Ed? 

As an 80+ year partner with the city, Rec & Ed uses numerous city fields for its t-ball, baseball, softball, and kickball leagues. All 27 city fields that Rec & Ed leagues play on are covered in the smoking ban. 

A Rec & Ed baseball team gets ready to play
at Veteran's Park, a city field.

Ann Arbor Public Schools' outdoor fields have been smoke-free for years; the city smoking ban now makes all ball fields that Rec & Ed uses for youth and adult sports smoke free. 

Children and families can enjoy playing in Rec & Ed's leagues without breathing second hand smoke or seeing people smoking or littering cigarette butts -- that's a win-win for everyone. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Rec & Ed launches NFL FLAG Football program

Sean Williams, Guest Blogger

Like many Americans, football is my favorite sport. As a parent of a 3rd grade son who also loves the game, I love being able to spend time together watching the game. However, when he asks me about playing tackle football, it's hard not to be concerned about the increased risk of concussion and other injuries. 

That's why I'm thankful Rec & Ed offers a youth flag football league -- and excited that it's about to get even better. 

This spring we're enhancing our league by becoming an official NFL FLAG program. NFL FLAG is the premier youth flag football program for boys and girls in the U.S. NFL FLAG provides an exciting way to enjoy America's favorite sport and advance youth physical fitness in non-contact, continuous action playing. The program emphasizes teamwork and sportsmanship. 

Additional benefits of NFL FLAG:
  • Expanded grades: the league is now open to boys and girls in grades K - 8
  • Participants receive a reversible jersey with an NFL logo and an NFL FLAG belt
  • Coaches will be certified through NFL FLAG and have access to resources from USA Football, including a practice planner, animated drills library, and health and safety information 
Rec & Ed's continued commitment to youth and parents
  • The league focuses on learning the game and having fun
  • Fantastic volunteer coaches remain the backbone of the program
  • Teams will still be formed by school attendance area
Enroll now for spring! Register by Feb. 16 and save $10.

Teams will practice once a week for an hour and a half beginning the week of March 30. Games are played on Sunday afternoons beginning Sunday, April 12. 

Maybe your child already plays tackle football, or maybe you're like me and trying to find an alternative. Either way, Rec & Ed flag football provides a healthy option for your child. 
I can speak for one excited nine year old who can't wait to don the "awesome" new jersey so he can be "swag." 

Easy on-line registration for spring flag football is available here

Sean Williams is a Recreation Specialist at Community Education and Recreation. 

Please help us spread the word about Rec & Ed's new NFL FLAG program via your own social media networks.

Monday, January 5, 2015

6 New Year's resolutions you can achieve through Rec & Ed

Linda Brzezsnki, Guest Blogger
There is something about the New Year that makes you want to start fresh, fix bad habits and improve your health. Rec & Ed has a wide variety of opportunities to help you attain your goals for the year. Online registration is open for all classes and workshops in our winter catalog
Click here to view the winter catalog.

1. Eat Healthier
Our cooking instructors focus on healthy cooking, using fresh and natural ingredients. Rejuvenate your culinary repertoire with these fresh dishes: Vegetarian Paella, Hearty Vegetarian Soups, Squash & Onion Quiche, Basic Sushi, More Sushi.

2. Get Fit
The Rec & Ed winter catalog features 11 pages of fitness and wellness classes! Check out pages 23 – 34 for a variety of options featuring experienced instructors. A sampling of new classes includes: Boost Your Brain Power, An Introduction to Ayurveda, Health Steps, Chakra Yoga and Teen Yogafit.

3. De-Stress
Beginning Insight Meditation and Meditation for Everyday Life each offer a great way to relax. Grab your partner for a Couples Massage class, or learn how to Massage Away Your Headaches to decrease the tension in your life.

4. Improve Your Financial Status
Start with Tracey Coffield’s new class, 12 Financial Resolutions for 2015 then, depending on your particular interests you might want to take Maria Gilbert’s Buying a Home in Today’s Market or Robert Laura’s Entrepreneurship @ 50+. Peggy Lubahn’s Selling on eBay class will not only improve your financial status but will also help with the following resolution.

5. De-Clutter & Get Organized
Carolyn Anderson Fermann is an organizational guru. Her  Secrets of a Simply Organized Life and Organize Your Life, Organize Your Goals will provide you with lots of helpful tips and individual advice. 

6. Learn a New Skill
Rec & Ed offers many supportive, introductory classes for you to learn a new language (American Sign Language or French Immersion), take up a hobby (Sewing, Woodworking, Glass Blowing, or Pottery), or learn to play a new musical instrument (Instant Piano or Ukulele FUN-damentals. The Rec & Ed winter catalog is chock full of over 300 in-person learning opportunities. In addition, our partnership with companies offering online classes presents another 300 possibilities - perfect for expanding your business skills.

All of us at Rec & Ed wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Linda Brzezinski is the adult enrichment supervisor at Rec & Ed. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

INFOGRAPHIC: 5 most popular A2RecDirect blog posts of 2014

Jenna Bacolor, Executive Director, Rec & Ed

Dec. 31, 2014 marked my first full calendar year writing the A2RecDirect blog. Writing stories about the people involved in Rec & Ed has been even more fun and rewarding than I imagined -- and has helped me appreciate all the ways Rec & Ed positively impacts Ann Arbor. 

Those of you who know me personally understand how excited I get about tracking stats! The infographic below features 2014 stats compiled from Google Analytics

Happy New Year, and thanks so much for supporting Rec & Ed!