The state of Michigan mandates that every school provide children with recess and opportunities for physical activity. Unfortunately for many schools, recess is not always a time for fun physical play. Without the proper staff to administer recess, this portion of the school day often degenerates into chaos where kids run wild and school staff become frustrated. Yet properly administered recess is essential for promoting healthy lifestyles and academic excellence among kids.
In Detroit, several schools have partnered with Playworks
, a national nonprofit that was formed in Oakland, Calif., to administer recess. Playworks offers schools a fulltime employee, or "coach", dedicated to teaching kids productive, inclusive ways of playing with one another and trains school administrators how to better administer recess when Playworks leaves.
The above video was shot at Bennett Elementary school in Southwest Detroit. Kids at Bennett, a diverse neighborhood school, enjoy the benefits of recess and learn to play in ways that are inclusive and structured.