Playworks Training Revamps Recess in Lynn

  1. Updates

Cobbet Elementary School in Lynn, MA is a fairly typical urban elementary school with 600 students in a mixed racial/ethnic neighborhood.  The school was also having typical problems during recess: students getting hurt because of rough playing, students not engaged in activities, and behavior incidents requiring administrative intervention.

The administration enlisted Playworks Training to work with the newly-formed Recess Team on how to organize recess to be safe, inclusive and fun for students and staff.

Account Manager Laryssa Calhoun set up a Recess 360 training for the Recess Team at Cobbet and a Power of Play training for the classroom teachers. The Recess 360 trainings consists of 10 three-hour trainings and five recess consulting visits.  The trainings are progressive and teach the Recess Team the skills they need to design and implement effective recess systems.  Consultation Visits are scheduled in between the trainings and allow the trainer to observe recess for a day to see what is going well and what issues could be addressed through the next training.  

Senior Trainer Deb Sugerman delivered three initial trainings to the Cobbet Recess Team in August, which were both fun and instructive. In addition, the Cobbet team developed new systems at the trainings that have been welcomed by students and staff alike.  

Program Specialist Tim Burt remarked, “I believe the new recess initiative here at Cobbet has been wonderful. I observe recess on a daily basis and I see students engaged, smiling, having fun, and playing fair. The staff have been taking the lead and are energized and engaged. This has minimized behavior problems at recess and in the classroom.” 

Nurse Carol Hatch said, “I really think this Playworks thing is working. Usually recess is a disaster. The kids are lined up to treat bumps,bangs, abrasions, cuts, sprains and the like. I know we are only a week in, but I have seen very few recess injuries. The difference has to be the guided play. Thanks to all of you who are working at it.”  

Playworks training makes a positive impact on recess engagement, safety, and fun for both students and staff.  Contact Laryssa Calhoun (lcalhoun@playworks.org) for more information about how to impact your school or organization.

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