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Can Quality Recess Make Your School Happier and Healthier?

Catherine is a senior communications professional helping social change organizations tell their story in powerful ways. She has expertise in public health, environmental stewardship, philanthropy and education. Follow her on Twitter @CatBrozena

Tools to Help School Principals and Leaders Create a Positive School Climate

Recess. For most school kids, it means freedom to play and run around in the open air, to build relationships with others and to explore the world around them. It can be a valuable time to get that all-important dose of physical activity during the day that helps build strong, growing bodies and stimulates the mind to absorb the information exchange taking place in the classroom. Quality recess also supports strong social and emotional development in students and can be an invaluable tool for creating a positive school environment for staff and students.

But too often, a focus on academic performance and test scores eclipses the importance of recess in many schools. A research study put forth in 2013 by the U.S. Play Coalition noted that “over the past 20-25 years, recess has been cut back in some schools and completely cut out in others.” Furthermore, studies have shown that students of color and those living below the poverty line are much less likely to be receiving recess as compared to white students and those living above the poverty line.

Playworks-logo-200x133Thankfully these trends have been reversing, due in part to increased attention in the media around the nation’s obesity epidemic and the detrimental health (and academic) impacts on school children who are not exposed to daily physical activity. But the need to remain vigilant in maintaining substantive recess opportunities for school children is as important as ever. And thanks to our partners at Playworks, the tools to help schools build and maintain quality recess for students are just a click away.

Playworks and Thriving Schools understand that principals and other school leaders are critical decision-makers in assuring that school recess remains an essential part of the school day. We encourage you to visit the Playworks website where you’ll find resources specific to helping school principals build quality recess. There you’ll find a checklist to help you create great recess, as well as how-to videos and other tools that will have you building not only great recess programs for students but a happier and healthier school environment.

Check out these Playworks web pages dedicated to school principals.

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