Recess is usually the best part of the school day, it’s a chance to try new games and play with all of your classmates. But for one third grade student at Sandy Ridge Elementary, participating in games and physical activity has been the scariest part of the school day.
Mary* is a reserved third grade student who is usually very hesitant to try new games and activities. She tends to avoid eye contact and does not have the best coordination. Mary will often not participate in any new games at recess and gets frustrated when an activity doesn’t come easy to her.
But with a bit of encouragement and support, things are beginning to change. During a recent Class Game Time with Playworks Coach Brittany Morgan, Mary participated in every single basketball skills-building games with great resilience. Even when she would miss a pass or lose control of a dribble, Mary kept trying. When it was her turn to play Knockout Basketball, Mary stepped up to the foul line to take a shot with her classmates cheering her on. Despite not making a basket, Mary showed concentration and determination with each try. During Coach Brittany’s reflection time after the class, Mary shared that she was proud of everyone for trying their best, even if was their first time playing
Later that day at recess, with more confidence to step out of her comfort zone, Mary decided to try a football game for the first time. Although she wasn’t able to catch every ball that was passed to her or complete every throw, she continued to give it her all for the entire recess.
At the end of recess, Coach Brittany pulled Mary aside and complimented her on exploring and trying new games. She told Coach Brittany that she was happy that she tried the new games and that, “I want to play all the games with everyone!”.
While Mary still shows some hesitation to play new games, she feels more safe and comfortable at recess with her fellow third grade classmates. Instead of being one of the last to start playing at recess, Mary now observes a new game for a few moments and then jumps right in to share in the fun and laughter at recess.
Story provided by Playworks Coach Brittany Morgan, Sandy Ridge Elementary
*Name has been changed