Blue Across Rhode Island: Making Recess Rock!

  1. Updates

Since its innovative launch in November of 2015, Recess Rocks in Rhode Island (RRIRI) has spread safe and healthy play across the Ocean State through a collaborative partnership between Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BSBSRI), Playworks, and Rhode Island Healthy Schools Coalition (RIHSC).

This partnership is one of a kind, as it aims to bring the power of play through Playworks to every student in Rhode Island in the coming years. Since its debut, Recess Rocks in Rhode Island has:

    • fully “rocked” 12 school districts, meaning that each school has been through the Recess Rocks core training program
    • trained 100+ schools to engage students in vigorous physical activity during recess and decrease disciplinary incidents that remove students from recess
    • brought a positive recess climate to 36,000+ students

On Friday, September 24, Playworks New England hosted 17 BCBSRI associates on their 10th anniversary of #BlueAcrossRI2021, Blue Cross’ annual service day to engage employees and support local nonprofits. Despite rainy weather, volunteers showed up eager to support Playworks’ mission and play some games!

The morning was spent creating colorful and inspiring murals that will be hung at a Playworks partner school, Raices Dual Language Academy in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Murals ranged from rainbow swirls to phrases such as “You are welcomed, important, respected, loved” but all had the same goal: to create a more dynamic, inclusive, and joyful recess yard for students.

After a lunch and game break (we had so much fun playing Chewbacca and Team Juggle!), volunteers shifted their focus from painting to writing welcome letters to incoming Junior Coaches in Rhode Island. 

The Playworks Junior Coach Leadership Program is a unique opportunity for a group of 4th and 5th graders to meet for coaching on how to be a leader both in the classroom and in their community, then empowered to take those lessons onto the playground to lead recess with their younger peers while modeling empathy, respect, and inclusion. This year will be the first year that the Junior Coach Leadership Program is implemented in Rhode Island, and we are so grateful to our volunteers for writing powerful letters for our incoming JCs.

As we enter the seventh year of Recess Rocks in Rhode Island, we cannot express how thankful we are for our partnership with Blue Cross & Blue Shield Rhode Island and Rhode Island Healthy Schools Coalition. Their belief in the power of play to bring out the best in every kid is transforming school climate all across Rhode Island!

Photos courtesy of Jeff Potter

More Updates


October 14, 2021

Teaching Positive Language on the Playground ›

October is National Bullying Prevention Month.  According to a 2019 report by the National Center for Education Statistics, 1 in 5 students report being bullied, and 33% of elementary school students report being bullied often. Bullying increases the risk for mood disorders (such as depression and anxiety), lowers academic achievement, and increases school dropout rates,…

September 28, 2021

Nettle Middle School’s Recess Rockstar ›

When Juan Lluberes left law enforcement a few years ago, he wasn’t planning on heading back to recess. As he began as the Student Support Coordinator at Nettle Middle School in Haverhill, though, it seemed that’s where most of the problems were.  The leadership team at Nettle was proud to offer recess for all of…

September 15, 2021

Creating an Inclusive Playground ›

When children feel included on the playground, it gives them the space to learn and grow in an environment that they know will celebrate their wins and encourage them to learn from their mistakes. As recently highlighted on NBC, health experts are stressing inclusion for school children, which is why we’re focusing on it as…