Why the Program is Needed

There is positive relationship between active play during recess and academic performance. Unfortunately, many schools are cutting recess to increase the amount of instruction time. School personnel and administrators are generally uninformed on the importance of recess and strategies that can be used to improve recess. In addition, recess supervisors commonly do not receive the education and support needed to create a positive recess experience for students. As a result, recess supervisors typically view their role as needing to passively observe students and providing discipline when conflicts arise rather than promoting positive activities and social interaction.

For students, recess should be an enjoyable part of the school day to:

  • Have fun and take a break from classroom work
  • Engage in a variety of active play activities and/or games
  • Socialize with friends and learn how to be a good friend

For recess supervisors, outdoor and indoor recess are important times to interact with students in positive ways and encourage active play and positive social interaction.

1 Singh, A., Uijtdewilligen, L., Twisk, J. W.R., van Mechelen, W., & Chinapaw, M. J.M. (2012). Physical activity and performance at school. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med., 166, 49-55.
2 Ramstetter, C.L., Murray, R., & Garner, A.S. (2010). The crucial role of recess in Schools. Journal of School Health, 80, 517–526.
3 O'Brien, L. M. (2003). The rewards and restrictions of recess. Childhood Education, 79, 161-166.
4 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (2010). The state of play Gallup survey of principals on school recess. Retrieved from http://www.rwjf.org/en/research-publications/find-rwjf-research/2010/02/the-state-of-play.html
5 Bundy, A. C., Luckett, T., Naughton, G. A., Tranter, P. J., Wyver, S. R., Ragen, J., Singleton, E., & Spies, G. (2008). Playful interaction: Occupational therapy for all children on the school playground. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 62, 522–527.
6 Erwin, H., Abel, M., Beighle, A., Noland, M. P., Worley, B., & Riggs, R. (2012). The contribution of recess to children's school-day physical activity. Journal of physical activity & health, 9, 442.