Recess Rollout Story

  1. Updates

My first Class Game Time (CGT) at Lincoln was with a first grade class. The school is very diverse, so I expected that many kids did not speak English, and I taught games accordingly. For switch, I showed students that they could say switch, or they could simply raise their hand, and then move it down quickly. When one of the boys went up, all the kids shouted that he did not speak English, but I helped him play the game with a hand signal instead of saying switch, and it was fine.

The next morning at recess, I was playing magic tag with a bunch of first and second graders, and he was playing with me. He was clearly very timid but also very excited by the whole thing. He was smiling and running all over the place. That afternoon, the principal came out to the first grade recess and played with him.  After recess, the principal came up to me and told me the boy's story.  His name was Munny, and he came from a refuge camp in Cambodia.  He was a selective mute, which meant that he used to be able to speak, but because of the trauma he had endured in his life, he no longer spoke. The principal gave Munny a hug and a smile every time she saw him in the hall, but he always shied away and she had never seen him smile. 

That day at recess, he had been chasing her with butterfly tags the entire time. She saw him grinning and doing lots of silent laughing. She said neither she nor her classroom teacher had ever seen him like that. Munny continued to play games at recess every single day, and every day I could see how much more comfortable he became with the other students. I was only there for five days, just think what a program coordinator could accomplish there in a year!!

(The student's name was changed in this to protect his privacy.)

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