Back in your day, almost every kid’s favorite subject in school was recess. Now with the increased importance of standardized tests and pressure on young students, it’s like you have to send your kid to prison to get any outdoor recreation time. Or you could send them to a school working with the LiiNK Project. Liink tries to improve the physical, social, and emotional well-being of children by bridging the gaps between academics, character development, and play. If that doesn’t excite your kid, this will: They’re doing this with recess 4 times a day.
It started as a small effort in the 2015-2016 school year in Texas, with 4 schools participating, with an additional 4 schools serving as the control groups. While the data is preliminary at this point, it is also promising. Kids in the program were better focused than those in the control group, and reports of bullying were down, probably because, fun fact: bullies love keeping their monkey bar privileges.
The program is slightly more structured than when your parents would kick you out of the house and not let you back in until dark, and is modeled after a 30-year old curriculum know as Positive Action. Kids go outside for a total 4 15-minute increments of recess. This alternates with 4 15-minute sessions where they work on focusing, ethics, and other character-building activities, and compares to just one 20-minute recess at the control schools. It worked so well that it will be used in 14 public schools across 6 districts in Texas and Oklahoma this year.
The American Academy Of Pediatrics’ Council On School Health called recess “crucial” for kid’s development. Liink’s theory is that segmenting it plays to a kid’s limited attention span, while leaving them plenty of time to learn how fill out to a scantron. You could work to improve your kid’s school with this new information, or just add recess to the list of things that are bigger in Texas.
[H/T] The Washington Post