Playworks knows that recess is one of the most critical opportunities for students to be physically active, build core social-emotional skills, and build relationships with their peers. However, recess can often be a source of stress and chaos for schools – especially in light of new guidelines and restrictions due to COVID-19.
For some added support, Principal Kathleen Smith reached out to Playworks for a Recess Reboot – a weeklong training series designed to equip school staff with sustainable ways to ensure safe, healthy play at recess.
Over the course of the week, staff were trained on the core elements of a Playworks recess, like inclusive games, equipment systems, and smooth transitions to and from class. They watched and reflected on those elements at work on their own playground, and by the end of the week, they were leading those practices themselves!
“The Recess Reboot was just what the Guilmette needed to change our recess environment. The students can’t wait to play the games and love when their teachers hop in to play with them. There are less conflicts occurring and when there is a conflict, they agree that Rock Paper Scissors can usually solve it,” says Casey Grange, Physical Education teacher at Guilmette. “Transitions in and out of the building are smoother and teachers appreciate that the students are calm after taking a few deep breaths before heading inside. The Junior Coaches have stepped up and have taken their jobs seriously from the get-go.”
Students also spent the week learning. Each class learned fun new games they can safely play at recess. Then, a group of student leaders, called Junior Coaches, learned how to start and sustain those games. Those students become key to sustaining a positive play environment throughout the year. Their leadership means more kids playing in safe, healthy ways, so adults spend less time monitoring for behavior challenges.
What’s a Recess Reboot?
Playworks’ Recess Reboot is four days of on-site training, consulting, and capacity building. An experienced trainer will come to your school to demonstrate and teach strategies, games, and systems to sustain a positive culture of safe and healthy play. Your school leaves with tools, techniques, and an action plan to continue a strong culture of play throughout the year.
As students return to school buildings after prolonged periods of isolation, Principals are seeing heightened anxiety and an increase in disciplinary challenges. And as families continue to grapple with the economic implications of the crisis, students will face added trauma.
Now more than ever, it is essential students feel safe within their school community, are supported by adult role models, and have access to positive outlets for physical activity and social-emotional development. In each of these critical areas, Playworks has an established track record of success based on years of validated impact.
Interested in learning more about bringing a Playworks Recess Reboot to your school? Set up a time to talk with our partnership team.