Recess and other school-based play time are some of the least studied elements of the school day. Principals and teachers often say, however, that a bad recess period has a negative effect on the entire school day. This new research, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, contributes to a growing body of evidence that a safe, healthy recess environment is a key driver of better behavior and learning.
“We’ve noticed that the community of play has stretched beyond the school boundaries,” Vanark says about the nine schools in San Francisco’s Mission District. “We organize different Saturday events for our families and call them extravaganzas. They’re sports clinics, but clinic is a word that has lots of different meanings. We use the word extravaganza to make it sound like a fun-filled day, teaching boys and girls how to play soccer and basketball.”