Everlast Climbing Partners With Creator Of Dyslexie Font To Expand Literacy Opportunities on Climbing Walls

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newsSpecially-designed magnets offer a new way for educators to work with children to develop literacy skills through cross-curricular programming while rock climbing.

According to the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity, dyslexia affects 1 out of 5 people, impacting genders equally and crossing racial, ethnic and socioeconomic lines. It is the most common reading disability. If left undiagnosed and untreated, it can lead to a lifetime of problems beginning with learning to read in school.

Unlike what many people think, dyslexia is not as simple as mixing up letters. People with dyslexia see letters as 3D objects and the letter swapping occurs because so many letters of the alphabet look similar in form and design. With this insight in mind, Christian Boer, a graphic designer with dyslexia, developed a font to help people differentiate between the letters and read more effectively.

In his Dyslexie font, each letterform is designed so that it is more easily distinguished as unique, making it less likely that similar letters, such as “b” and “d,” will be confused by readers. The nine characteristics of the Dyslexie font include a heavy bottom, slanted parts, bigger openings, slanted letters, longer ascender and descender, bold capitals, different heights, higher x axis and better spacing. You can learn more about the font and the research behind it at dyxlexiefont.com.

Everlast Climbing is always looking for new ways to make its climbing and active-learning products more accessible. After learning about the Dyslexie font, Everlast Climbing partnered with Christian Boer to license the font for use on magnets for its Magna® Traverse Wall®, Discovery® Dry-Erase Traverse Wall and Adaptive Traverse Wall. Currently, children use magnets on the magnet-accepting surfaces of these climbing walls to combine learning with movement in countless ways. For example, young children can identify, climb to and touch the letters in their name. Older children can climb to and move letter magnets to spell words or even combine magnetic words to create sentences.

The addition of the Dyslexie Font Magnet Set expands these kinesthetic literacy opportunities to students with dyslexia, who may have previously struggled with these types of activities. “We are excited to be able to offer a way to make active learning more accessible and enjoyable for children with learning disabilities,” stated Tim Sudeith, General Manager of Everlast Climbing.

About Everlast Climbing

Everlast Climbing is committed to improving youth fitness with dynamic and innovative products that engage children and inspire physical activity. The company is headquartered in Mendota Heights, MN, and is a PlayCore company. More information is available about Everlast Climbing at http://www.everlastclimbing.com.

Everlast Climbing Lobbies To Strengthen Physical Education

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jumpingsacsOver 300 advocates participated in the second annual Minnesotans for Healthy Kids Coalition Lobby Day to lobby for stronger physical education and Safe Routes to School funding. Everlast Climbing was especially interested in voicing support for the 2016 PE Bill SF343/HF498 which would strengthen physical education programs by adopting new standards and grade-specific benchmarks to strengthen physical education in schools. Currently, physical educators are using outdated standards from 2004. Updating the standards and benchmarks will give Minnesota schools better information to design, execute and evaluate their local curriculum.

In attendance from Everlast Climbing was Mertyce Mrvos, Coordinator of Programs and Partnerships. She met with State Representative Ron Erhardt, Senator Melisa Franzen and her Legislative Assistant, Thomas Melton. “Children who receive regular, quality physical education are 2 ½ times more likely to be active adults. They also learn more effectively and achieve more academically,” said Mrvos. “I was thrilled to see that legislators are in favor of strengthening physical education with this bill.”

Childhood obesity is a major health concern for Minnesota, with nearly 1 in 4 of its high school students being overweight or obese. Obesity is linked to 14 types of cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Physical activity improves health and reduces risk of these chronic diseases. Quality physical education in schools is one way to increase physical activity levels in youth. It also promotes enjoyable participation in physical activity and helps youth develop the knowledge, attitudes, motor and behavioral skills and confidence needed to improve physical fitness and adopt and maintain a physically active lifestyle throughout their lifetime.

“Advocating for physical education and youth fitness is part of our company’s mission,” said Tim Sudeith, General Manager of Everlast Climbing. “We regularly communicate the importance of physical education and are eager to play a part in strengthening physical education in our state.”

About Everlast Climbing

Everlast Climbing is committed to improving youth fitness with dynamic and innovative products that engage children and inspire physical activity. The company is headquartered in Mendota Heights, MN, and is a PlayCore company. More information is available about Everlast Climbing at: everlastclimbing.com.

Everlast Climbing Celebrates Its 25 Year Anniversary

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newsEverlast Climbing, a Playcore Company, is celebrating 25 years in business this year. After getting its start in Chicago as a climbing hand hold manufacturer, founder Tim Sudeith began working with schools to create low-risk climbing walls (Traverse Walls®) that are typically 8-10 feet tall for use in Physical Education classes. After receiving feedback from educators that the climbing walls were engaging students previously not interested in physical activity, Everlast Climbing moved toward developing additional products that would be attractive to more schools and other youth-serving agencies, such as community centers.

Everlast Climbing is passionate about helping kids become more active and combating childhood obesity and has developed innovative climbing walls that can be used beyond physical education classes. The invention of its Magna® and Discovery® Dry-erase Climbing walls (US Patents 7,056,266 & 7,520,838) combines movement and learning. Both climbing walls have magnetic properties and come with magnet sets and activity guides. Children are able to place magnets in a variety of ways to add learning to the climbing wall, for example, by placing word magnets next to hand holds and traversing the wall using only the holds with verbs next to them. The Discovery® Dry-erase wall also comes with dry-erase markers, adding more learning opportunities to the wall by allowing students to write while climbing. “Some schools conduct weekly spelling tests on the climbing wall, while others have students practice math facts while climbing,” said Mertyce Mrvos, Coordinator for Programs & Partnerships at Everlast Climbing. “With our climbing walls, schools can add more physical activity into the school day, beyond what children get in physical education classes.” In addition, Everlast Climbing’s walls include color-coded hand holds that vary in difficulty, allowing the climber to choose the desired challenge level.

Everlast Climbing is also known for having set the safety standard when it comes to traverse climbing in schools. The company has created many innovations, such as the Red-Relief Line®, a horizontal line of red foot holds specially designed as a reminder to climbers to keep their feet in the “safety zone,” only a few feet from the floor. Everlast Climbing developed its safety mats to meet playground industry ASTM standards for both critical fall height and protrusion protection. Further, Everlast Climbing created a Cordless Mat-locking System® (U.S Patents 7,819,778; 7,862,480 & 8,282,534) to prevent unauthorized access when the wall is not in use. Everlast Climbing holds a total of 15 patents related to safety and product innovation.

In 1997, Everlast Climbing moved its headquarters to St. Paul, MN, and then a few years later to its current location in nearby Mendota Heights. The company is proud to make “everything but the hardware” in its 36,000 square foot facility. Having the advantage of housing offices and manufacturing under one roof allows for high quality assurance. Further, Everlast Climbing completes its turn-key solutions by offering factory installation by its own team of installers.

It is clear to see the passion surrounding Everlast Climbing’s mission. “We only hire people who have that sparkle in their eyes when we talk about the impact we are having on young people,” said Tim Sudeith. “The fact that we really care about our end users comes across in everything we do and surely has contributed to our longevity as a company.” Everlast Climbing works with many organizations that are fueled by the same passions, like SHAPE America, and regularly advocates and lobbies for children’s health and physical education. Everlast Climbing was purchased by PlayCore in 2008 and has enjoyed working closely with a parent company that also values and is committed to making a positive impact on children and communities.

By offering a variety of traverse and top rope climbing walls, including specialized walls for pre-school aged children and adaptive programs, Everlast Climbing is striving to meet its goal of making climbing more accessible to all ages and abilities.

About Everlast Climbing

Everlast Climbing is committed to improving youth fitness with dynamic and innovative products that engage children and inspire physical activity. The company is headquartered in Mendota Heights, MN, and is a PlayCore company. More information is available about Everlast Climbing at everlastclimbing.com.

Everlast Climbing Helps Schools Raise Needed Physical Education Funds

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newsEverlast Climbing proudly releases How to Fund Your Climbing Wall: A Comprehensive Guide of Funding Opportunities, Ideas & Resources in an effort to help K-12 schools overcome funding obstacles and acquire a climbing wall.

Since 1991, Everlast Climbing has worked with schools in all 50 states as they enhance their physical education curricula with the addition of rock climbing. Climbing is a far-reaching sport that offers many benefits to youth of varied interests, abilities and fitness levels. Unfortunately, schools often struggle with how to fund a climbing wall.

According to the National Association for Sports and Physical Education, the median physical education budget for schools in the United States is only $764 per school year. This is not nearly enough to cover the expense of a climbing wall, which is in excess of $4,000, including mats and installation. Physical educators often need to secure outside funding in order to purchase a climbing wall. To assist in this challenging task, Everlast Climbing developed How to Fund Your Climbing Wall: A Comprehensive Guide of Funding Opportunities, Ideas & Resources.

“Rock climbing is a great addition to high-quality physical education programs because it addresses all three learning domains—physical, cognitive and emotional. Climbing improves fitness, utilizes problem solving and develops a variety of social-emotional traits like courage and perseverance. And it’s attractive to a wide range of youth, even those who are not typically interested in physical activity,” says Tim Sudeith, General Manager of Everlast Climbing. “Funding is the biggest challenge schools face when they look into getting a climbing wall. It is our hope that the funding guide will enable more students to benefit from having a climbing wall as part of their physical education program.”

The digital resource helps educators identify critical sources of funding for programs and equipment. Customized for each state and the District of Columbia, the Funding Guide includes lists and information about current national and state-level grants available to schools. Also included are ways to raise funds beyond applying for grants, such as through crowdfunding, sales, restaurant fundraising, do-it-yourself school fundraising and partnerships. Additionally, the guide includes success stories and many resources to support fundraising initiatives.

How to Fund Your Climbing Wall: A comprehensive Guide of Funding Opportunities, Ideas & Resources is available for free download on Everlast Climbing’s website: http://www.everlastclimbing.com.

About Everlast Climbing

Everlast Climbing is committed to improving youth fitness with dynamic and innovative products that engage children and inspire physical activity. The company is headquartered in Mendota Heights, MN, and is a PlayCore company. More information is available about Everlast Climbing at http://www.everlastclimbing.com.

Everlast Climbing Donates Memorial Climbing Wall

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newsAs part of its annual Day of Caring event, Everlast Climbing employees donated time to manufacture and install a Traverse Climbing Wall at Kaposia Education Center in South St. Paul, Minn.

On August 7, 2015, staff from Everlast Climbing installed a Traverse Climbing Wall in the gymnasium of Kaposia Education Center. The climbing wall is 8-feet high and 20-feet long and challenges students to climb horizontally across the surface, rather than strictly up. It features a magnet-accepting surface that allows the wall to be used for activities that integrate math, language and other subjects through the use of magnets, in addition to physical activities. A Mat-Locking System was also installed which provides a padded landing surface for climbers and covers and closes the climbing wall when it is not in use.

Since 2008, Everlast Climbing employees have participated in annual service projects aimed at making a difference in the communities where they live, work and play. This year’s project benefits nearby Kaposia Education Center which serves students from kindergarten through 5th grade and is an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) School offering the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP). The school was selected by Everlast Climbing to honor the memory of the late Kathleen Kidd, one of the school’s teachers and the spouse of an Everlast Climbing employee.

“Part of our company’s mission is to make a difference in the community,” said Tim Sudeith, General Manager of Everlast Climbing. “This year’s project is very meaningful because it honors the memory of a special person and will also benefit children for many years to come.”

The Day of Caring event was preceded by several Days of Caring in which production staff volunteered time to manufacture the various parts of the climbing wall during breaks and after hours. Everlast Climbing was able to completely donate the climbing wall package thanks to the generosity of its vendors who donated all of the materials.

Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Dave Webb, said, “Kathleen had a tremendous impact on so many of our students and staff. We are pleased that Everlast Climbing provided us with something where her memory will continue.”

About Everlast Climbing

Everlast Climbing is committed to improving youth fitness with dynamic and innovative products that engage children and inspire physical activity. The company is headquartered in Mendota Heights, MN, and is a PlayCore company. More information is available about Everlast Climbing at http://www.everlastclimbing.com.

Everlast Climbing Brings Rock Climbing Information To Conference

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groupkidswbgEverlast Climbing provided a climbing wall training for physical educators at the TAHPERD Summer Conference, helping to enhance physical education instruction for Texas students.

The 31st TAHPERD Summer Conference was held at the Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center in San Marcos by the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (TAHPERD). Professional educators for health, physical education, recreation, and dance from all points in Texas and from grade levels kindergarten through university, gathered to exchange innovative teaching ideas, recent research, and to discuss important issues facing Texas children. The epidemic of childhood obesity continues to be a concern. Conference attendees discussed the latest research showing the more physical fit a student is the better they perform academically, have fewer absences, and are less likely to have discipline problems. Other attendee programs addressed quality instruction, exemplary health and physical education programs, and the new innovations in teaching tools.

The teachers and administrators reaffirmed their dedication to the important task of educating Texas children for the 2015-16 school year. The professional attendees created strategies and exchanged ideas and activities to assure their students would receive quality instruction to build healthy life habits in physical activity and nutrition.

Dr. Debbie Rhea, Associate Dean and Professor at Texas Christian University and President of TAHPERD, unveiled her theme for 2015, “Igniting the Spark.” She explained, “Children lead healthier adult lives when they receive quality physical education, health instruction, and opportunities to be physically active during their school years. The relationship between being physically fit and academic achievement is evident and must be implemented in our schools.”

Jeremiah Neville, Director of Outside Sales for Everlast Climbing was a featured speaker at the two-day event which offered over 70 different presentations. Neville’s education session was entitled “School of Rock…Climbing: How to ‘Rock’ Your Traverse Wall” and provided best-practice protocols and activities for using a horizontal climbing wall in a K-6 physical education program. “Attendees appreciated learning new ways to use their climbing walls to help improve student engagement and fitness levels.” Everlast Climbing provides numerous education sessions every year at state AHPERD/SHAPE America Conventions as part of its quest to improve youth fitness in partnership with physical educators.

Children Reach New Heights With Adaptive Climbing Walls

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Adaptive climbing walls help children of all abilities improve physical fitness and feel successful.

kidsjumpingAn Everlast Climbing Adaptive Climbing Wall was installed at Lincoln Elementary School in Pryor, Okla. to enable students in the special education program to conquer the climbing wall right alongside their typically developing classmates.

“We felt we needed to do it for our students in special education so they could feel that they could do things all the other children do,” says Laura Holloway, physical education teacher and director of health and wellness for the Pryor School District. “When they see themselves going across it, in their minds, they are just as equal as everyone else.”

“Seeing those students do an activity they might not normally get to partake in is really great,” she adds. “The children feel that success and tell their teacher they did it with smiles on their faces. They want to do it again and again.”

The Adaptive Climbing Wall features grab-bar style hand holds and ledge-style foot holds to provide stability and extra support for children with physical disabilities. The wall also features other color-coded Groperz hand holds designed just for children that offer additional variety and levels of challenge. Green climbing holds are the largest and easiest to grab. The yellow holds are a little harder and the red holds are the smallest and most challenging. The climbing wall also has a dry-erase surface that can be written on and accepts magnets to provide learning opportunities for children with cognitive or communicative disabilities.

“Our Adaptive Climbing Wall is perfect for adapted or inclusive physical education, occupational therapy and physical therapy because it provides opportunities to simultaneously develop muscle strength, balance, body awareness, motor planning and more,” said Mertyce Mrvos, Coordinator of Programs & Partnerships for Everlast Climbing. “And it’s also really fun, so children want to do it. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

At Lincoln Elementary School, students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade use the Adaptive Climbing Wall during physical education classes, working on improving balance and decision-making and building upper body strength and self-esteem.

“There’s a lot more to it than climbing,” says Holloway. “It’s as much a brain challenge as it is anything else. You have to process things as you are going across, like which rocks would be better to grab. You can also have your students do math, or make sentences, as they’re climbing across.”

One of the school’s goals is to use the wall, which was purchased through a federal Carol M. White Physical Education Program grant, for an after-school climbing club.

“I think it reaches kids that don’t always find their place,” she says. “Maybe they’re not your sports kid, or your band kid. A child who is not connected to anything else can feel success in doing this.”

The Adaptive Climbing Wall at The Pediatric Place in Libertyville, Ill., adds an element of fun for children receiving physical, occupational and speech therapy, according to Myla Teemer, PT, clinic director.

“It’s something different. It does not look like exercise,” Teemer says.

The Pediatric Place serves children with neurologic and orthopedic conditions, sensory disorders and fine motor deficits, speech and language disorders, and feeding disorders. Many have coordination deficits and muscle weakness.

groupkids“There are a lot of benefits to the wall: Strengthening, increasing range of movement, enhancing motor planning, improving body awareness,” Teemer says.

Teemer added that the size of the wall make it less intimidating for children at the clinic, most of whom are 6 years old and younger. The wall measures 8 feet by 8 feet.

“We have a few kids that are either weak, have low tone, or have postural insecurities that meant in the beginning it was a whole clinic production for them to climb the wall. We had to call the parents and or another therapist for added reassurance,” she notes. “So we asked the kids to just do the first level of rocks and start from there. It seems like when they complete that first level, they gain confidence and are more willing to complete to the top.”

For added incentive, therapists often put toys or other treats on the top climbing holds for children to retrieve.

“They have big smiles on their faces, especially when they reach the top,” Teemer says. “Parents almost always take pictures or video of the kids while climbing or when they reach the top.”

Everlast Climbing™ Brings Youth Rock Climbing Innovations To National PTA Convention & Expo

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kidsarmsupDynamic rock climbing products, including educational climbing walls that allow for teaching content areas beyond physical education, will be featured.

From June 25 to June 28, more than 1,000 PTA members, leaders and partners from across the country will meet to network, learn and further work to make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth at the 2015 National PTA Convention & Expo in Charlotte, N.C.

Everlast Climbing has been serving the K-12 school market for over 20 years and has a long history of working with PTAs from across the country. With the average school’s physical education budget only $764 per year, PTAs play a significant role in filling in the gaps and enabling schools to provide physical education opportunities for students. “We have had the privilege of working with a lot of amazing PTAs over the years,” said Lyle Helke, Director of Inside Sales for Everlast Climbing. “PTAs understand the link between activity and learning and are also aware of the underfunding of physical education.” For many schools, innovations like a climbing wall would not be possible without the PTA.

At the 2015 National PTA Convention & Expo, Everlast Climbing will be presenting a variety of climbing walls created specifically for the K-12 school market. These include horizontal climbing walls, also known as Traverse Walls, which focus on students climbing predominantly across the wall instead of vertically. They are available in a variety of surfaces including those that look like real rock or display a mural. There are even climbing walls that can be used for math, reading and other lessons. The Magna® Wall features a magnet-accepting surface. The Discovery Wall is also magnetic and can be written on with chalk on the Blackboard style or with markers on the Dry-Erase version.

“The versatility of many of our climbing walls makes them very appealing to schools because they can be used not only in physical education classes, but in other classes too,” comments Mertyce Mrvos, Coordinator of Programs & Partnerships for Everlast Climbing. “Practicing math facts or spelling words on a climbing wall engages children in learning and provides the added benefits of physical activity.” Everlast Climbing will also be showcasing its Top Rope, or vertical climbing walls, Playground Walls, NatureROCKS® Playground Boulders, Kersplash® Poolside Climbing Wall, educational programming and more.

About Everlast Climbing
Everlast Climbing is committed to improving youth fitness with dynamic and innovative products that engage children and inspire physical activity. The company is headquartered in Mendota Heights, MN, and is a PlayCore company. More information is available about Everlast Climbing at http://www.everlastclimbing.com.

Everlast Climbing Advocates To Strengthen Physical Education

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your thoughts below…..

groupkidswbgEverlast Climbing participated in the Minnesotans for Healthy Kids Coalition Lobby Day to voice to legislators the importance of physical education in the state’s fight against childhood obesity.

Approximately 300 advocates participated in the first annual Minnesotans for Healthy Kids Coalition Lobby Day to lobby for physical education, active transportation and the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP). Everlast Climbing was especially interested in voicing support for the 2015 PE Bill SF343/HF498 which would strengthen physical education programs by adopting new grade-specific benchmarks, require annual student assessments and other measures to strengthen physical education in schools.

In attendance from Everlast Climbing was Mertyce Mrvos, Coordinator of Programs and Partnerships. She met with State Representative Rick Hansen, State Representative Joe Atkins and State Senator James Metzen. “Physical education plays a key role in the health and wellbeing of children,” said Mrvos. “In our meetings, it was clear that the legislators understood this. They were very supportive of legislation to strengthen physical education.”

Results from the most recent National Survey of Children’s Health reveal that 27% of Minnesota children ages 10-17 are overweight or obese. It is no surprise that Minnesota children are falling short of the CDC-recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity. According to the latest Minnesota Student Survey, less than half of students report having had 60 minutes of physical activity in five or more days of the last week. Quality physical education in schools is one way to increase physical activity levels in youth. It also promotes enjoyable participation in physical activity and helps students develop the knowledge, attitudes, motor and behavioral skills, and confidence needed to improve physical fitness and adopt and maintain a physically active lifestyle throughout their lifetime.

“Advocating for youth fitness is very important to our company. It’s especially rewarding to participate in an event like this that will benefit the youth in our state,” said Tim Sudeith, General Manager of Everlast Climbing.

Everlast Climbing Advocates For Quality Physical Education In Schools

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The article is courtesy of PRWeb and Everlast Climbing. Please share your comments below…..

groupkidswbgFor the sixth consecutive year, Everlast Climbing participated in the annual National Health Through Fitness Day to urge Congress to pass key legislation to “Get America Moving to Improve Health.”

Everlast Climbing and PlayCore were two of more than 40 corporate sponsors of the March 4 event that was organized by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association. Approximately 150 leaders from the sports, fitness and physical education industries met with Congress to discuss the importance of federal funding to support quality physical education in schools and to encourage more physical activity for families. Primarily, Congress was asked to approve the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) in Fiscal Year 2015. This program provides the only dedicated federal money to school districts and community-based organizations for physical education and innovative physical activity methods.

In attendance from Everlast Climbing was Jeremiah Neville, Director of Outside Sales. He held meetings with representatives from congressional districts including Ohio, Idaho, Minnesota and Texas. “I feel confident that we succeeded in bringing the message about the importance of physical activity and the need to ‘Get America Moving’ to the attention of legislators,” remarked Neville. “It was very exciting to be involved in the democratic process.”

According to the 2014 United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children & Youth, “only one quarter of children and youth in the U. S. are meeting physical activity guidelines.” Also, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that more than 50% of American adults do not get the recommended amount of physical activity. PEP helps to educate youth about the benefits of being physically fit and sets them on a course towards lifelong fitness.

“We really look forward to National Health Through Fitness Day. It’s an honor to be part of the event and to advocate for youth fitness is such a significant way,” said Tim Sudeith, General Manager of Everlast Climbing.