Recess Facilitation

December 3rd, 2015 | Simon Wong

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Connect Us collaborates with elementary schools in creating safe and inclusive recess environments, providing opportunities for all students to participate in group activities.  Professionals trained in the Social Competence Inclusive Play Model (SCIP) use evidenced-based strategies and input from each school to customize and implement a Recess Facilitation Program.  The program can either be designed for parent volunteers or our recess team can be hired to facilitate structured group games on a short-term or long-term basis.

Benefits

SCIP Recess Facilitation Programs improve the social, emotional, and physical well-being of children. Research shows that bullying, injuries, and disputes decrease when children are engaged in purposeful play at recess (Thompson 28-29).  Studies also show that when adults engage with children on the playground, positive social interactions and physical activity levels increase (Thompson 28-29).  SCIP:

    • Maximizes the number of students involved in physical activities
    • Teaches children negotiation and conflict resolution strategies
    • Provides adult support and structure that many kids need to join group play

“The Connect Us staff is highly skilled at helping children cultivate relationships with their peers. They offer a proactive approach to promoting social intelligence by working with children in real-time situations using child-directed, physical play to increase resiliency, flexibility, self-confidence and negotiation skills.”
– Dr. Mary Shay, principal Cottonwood Creek Elementary School

    • Promotes cooperative, peaceful play, inclusion and respect for others
    • Reinforces social behavior expectations and playground rules
    • Redirects arguing students back to play
    • Lessens the number of disputes carried over into classrooms
    • Strengthens school’s character education program
    • Reduces competitive intensity, rough play, aggressive behaviors, injuries and susceptibility to being bullied or becoming a bully
    • Programs are cost-effective and self-sustaining

Connect Us offers ongoing support, as needed.

*Source: Thompson, Thom. “People Make the Difference in School Playground Safety.” Executive Educator 13.8 (1991): 28-29.

SCIP Recess Model

SCIP recess activities and inclusion strategies build relationship skills in four targeted areas of typical social development.

Playground Parents Volunteer Program

For this option, Connect Us provides all the tools, training, and ongoing support schools need to implement and sustain a volunteer recess facilitation program.  Here’s an overview of the process:

Program Presentation – Connect Us will come to your school and present the program to staff, parent-teacher organizations, principals, etc.

Intake and Needs Assessment –

    • Playground supervisors complete questionnaire to provide snapshot of each grade’s recess climate
    • Meeting with key stakeholders – e.g., principal, social worker, P.E. teacher, parents and/or playground supervisors to identify school’s strengths, needs, concerns, and goals
    • Observe lunch recess for targeted grades to assess configuration of playground, scope of supervision, available equipment, activity options, and social climate

Recess Review – Two days of facilitation and an assessment and recommendations for targeted grades

Program Implementation – Playground Parents Program or Connect Us staff facilitates recess

Programs include multiple facilitation visits, recess review and recommendations.  Fees are based on the program customized for an individual school.

Playground Parents Program includes hands-on training visits, parent coordinator consultations, all materials needed to recruit parent volunteers, a customized volunteer training handbook complete with games, rules, guidelines and inclusion strategies, and post-program follow up.

 

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