Download: Recess Program Aims to Reduce Bullying

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A program being used across the country gives recess a more structured approach in an effort to reduce bullying.

According to KCPQ, it’s called “Play Works,” and the program allows kids to choose from several recreational options.

Older students serve as “coaches” and the younger students may not even realize anything is different.

A school in Washington said the program created a sense of community on the playground that carried over into the classroom.

KCPQ reported schools across the country that used “Play Works” found a 79 percent decrease in bullying.

13 comments

  • Kim

    I’m a recess monitor . In the winter the kids run around on the blacktop . Mist days they chase each other a structured game would be fun for the kids.The program would be wonderful used in schools.So many kids don’t know how to play together it would build relationships. The unstructured times are the time kids need more supervision. It would help cut down on bullying.

  • phil

    HOW IS A CHILD SUPPOSE TO LEARN TO INTERACT WITH OTHERS AND HAVE ANY KIND OF FREE THINKING SKILLS IF EVETYTHING IS STRUCTURED? ADULT MONITORS WHO PAY ATTENTION TO THE STUDRNTS AND HAVE VERY CLEAR CONSEQUENCES FOR ANYONE CAUGHT BULLYING.OUR TEACHERS DIDNT SIT ON THEIR DUFFS AT RECESS THEY WERE OUTSIDE WITH US THIS NOT ALLOWING KIDS TO BE KIDS IS GETTING RIDICULOUS! PUT DISCIPLINE BACK IN SCHOOLS AND QUIT BE AFRAID OF SOME CHILD GETTING HIS FEELINGS HURT! ITS A PART OF LIFE. IF YOU HAVE A BULLYING REMOVE HIM.A FEW DAYS OF SITTING FACING THE WALL WHILE EVERYONE ELSE IS HAVING FUN CAN GO A LONG WAY. START BEING ADULTS AND TEACHERS LIKE YOU’RE PAID TO BE INSTEAD OF TRYING TO BE EVERY KIDS FRIEND.

    • Ben Fong

      because discipline is the solution to everything…..WRONG, whats the deal with all caps too… maybe you should go back to school and stand in the corner.

  • Tammy

    I could argue both sides of the fence on this issue…however I am going to say yes to the structured recess because they still get the opportunity to play and have fun, it’s not like they are taking recess away. Whatever free thinking and independent interaction they miss out on at recess they can make up when they are home with the parents. They are at school to learn and that should include recess. This will teach them to get along with everyone and not exclude certain people, honestly recess is where it all starts (I speak from experience) as I saw it happen when I went to school. This will not only reduce bullying but it will also help the children who normally go off on their own to interact and be a part of something. There should still be playground time (supervised with ears wide open!) yes I said ears! Children learn very young to be cruel so it’s important for adults to get off their bums and step in when needed instead of turning a blind eye like so many do! Also if parents think that children should be able to run free at a playground and play with other kids freely why can’t they take 20-30 minutes on certain days and set up play dates with other parents. Once upon a time we used to know our children’s friends’ parents.

  • B. Moore

    Perhaps if the recess monitors didn’t use that time as a “coffee klatch” they may spot the bullies. My grand daughter was pulled from a set of monkey bars by another girl at recess a couple years ago, severely breaking her leg above the knee. ( It was a compound break with dislocation of the bone, which required surgery and pins) Other kids had to notify the “monitors” of the incident, even though she had been yelling for the girl to STOP. THEN to top it off, the school thought she had only hurt her ankle and had my daughter in law transport her by car !!! I don’t even believe the girl recieved any school punishment ofr doing this.

  • Mommy2Girls

    I teach in the inner city and our students have recess every day. Unfortunately it is unstructured because there are not enough people to monitor the students. Some structured activities would be great. We have a playground just for kindergarten and preschool. We take our kids out later for extra recess and teach them to play with others because no one at home teaches them how to play.

  • ziggy

    Recess gives the kids a little bit of time to get away from the structure of the classroom. For a few minutes, they get to relax and turn off their brains. If they want to play football, climb the monkey bars or just sit quietly in the corner, it is a way for them to do what they choose. Structured play is nothing more than another gym class.

  • B. Moore

    In my opinion, bullying is any action that makes a person feel “less than”.
    Bullying is not just physical. Bullying can also be verbal ( whether it is done overtly or subtle)., Purposeful non-inclusion also is a form.
    And if done repeatedly it can lead to a person being unable to trust, not only the person doing the bullying, but also the people that are supposed to protect us from them. Over time it can also result in a loss of self confidence.
    And bullying is not limited to school age children.
    Look around you, you see them everyday. They are at ALL levels of academics, in organized sports, in the workplace, in families, places of worship, your local convenience store, etc.
    Problem is…they don’t see what they are doing as bullying a majority of the time. “They are just making a joke they say” You can come up with more I’m sure.
    It can be as simple as a snarky or snide remark.
    If it makes the person it is directed at feel “Less Than”….it is bullying, plain and simple.
    At one time or another we have all been guilty of it in some form or fashion.

  • Cheyanne

    I dont feel that it is the older childs responsibility to do this. they should enjoy their recess time as well. Plus, those older kids could get upset and decide to bully a younger one. TEACHERS should be coaching, and by coaching I dont mean talking to other teachers or their fav students while all the other kids get bullied without them knowing. Thats what happened to me in Elementary school.

  • Katie

    Everything in school is so structured. These kids need time for free play. They test all the time, do what is asked from them on the State and Federal level. This infuriates me that now recess has to be organized too. These are kids, not robots!

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