A safe and healthy recess has the potential to drive better student behavior, health, and learning, according to a new study from Mathematica Policy Research and the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford University.
The randomized controlled trial of Playworks, which provides an active, healthy recess and play throughout the day in low-income elementary schools in 22 U.S. cities, found that the program reduced bullying, enhanced feelings of safety at school, increased vigorous physical activity during recess, and provided more time for classroom teaching. The findings are reported in four featured evaluation briefs, below.
The evaluation adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that what happens at recess can affect a school’s learning environment in important ways, and that improving recess and play may enable schools to address a number of pressing issues at the same time.
This study shows that a great recess is an essential building block for healthy school environments that help kids thrive socially, emotionally, and physically."
- Nancy Barrand, Senior Adviser for Program Development