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How incorporating play time in the school day can impact bullying

Posted at 1:23 PM, May 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-23 15:23:28-04

Playworks is the leading nonprofit in our community leveraging the power of play to transform children's social and emotional health.

It currently serves more than 60 schools in Utah and reaches more than 32,000 children directly and through professional training services.

Jenny went to Elk Run Elementary Magna, which is one of the schools using Playworks, to learn more about how it can impact bullying.

Desi Arends, Regional Director for Playworks Utah, says the program uses proactive strategies to engage students at recess. Desi says high quality recess significantly predicted the following student behaviors: Executive function, resiliency, emotional self-control and positive classroom behavior.

The Utah State Board of Education officially adopted new guidelines for recess developed in partnership with the Utah Action for Healthy Kids coalition, Canyons School District, and Playworks.

Guidelines will provide elementary schools best practices for recess and strive to eliminate unsound educational practices like administering or withholding physical activity for disciplinary or academic performance.

Stephen Foxley from Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah is the Chairman of the Playworks board and says teachers at schools with the program report that bullying behavior is reduced and students feel safer at school.

Kids are more physically active too, that's important too because many children are too sedentary — increasing their risk for poor physical health now and as adults.

There are multiple ways for you to support Playworks at schools and help fundraise. They are looking for partners to help amplify the program.

You can learn more at playworks.org.