Recess Guardians is a registered charity whose sole focus is to teach kids how to play. This grass-roots initiative started in Saskatchewan in 2008 to resolve the increasing social and bullying problems impacting students’ recess. Brock University recently completed a 3-year study on the massive increase in children’s inability to actively engage in recess activities and as a result the children separate into “cliques”, causing a huge divide on the playground. When researchers provided children with the skills and resources to start their own games, they found a significant decrease in school yard fights, more inclusion across different grade levels and less segregation among “cliques”.
With the increasing number of dual income homes, youth are no longer gaining the social and emotional skills needed to form relationships with their peers to engage in healthy, active play.
For nearly a decade, Recess Guardians has been successful at inspiring youth to become strong, active, responsible leaders by empowering them with the tools and skills they need to initiate healthy play. By teaching peer-to-peer leadership, we are able to build strong leaders for the future.
The beauty of the Recess Guardians program is in its simplicity. Recess Guardians provides schools, teachers and most importantly students, with a platform that includes educational resources that empower students to be “Guardians of Play” by demonstrating daily leadership to other students during non-classroom time. Older students in the school are provided with leadership training and tools to successfully lead students in games, collaborative activities that engage all students, while promoting physical activity, fun and a positive school community: making school playgrounds safer by encouraging all students to build friendships instead of fences and build relationships instead of boundaries.
What People Are Saying
"The grade 5's are SO excited to be Guardians and are so proud. I love hearing that they are even playing the games at home and teaching their siblings and cousins! That just shows how great this program is; that they are wanting to play these games at home and on their own time!"
— Megan Meschishnick, Teacher
"... His kindergarten teacher who was very supportive throughout all this. She arranged for a couple older kids who were Recess Guardians to play with him and a couple of his classmates. The change was incredible, it positively impacted his entire feelings towards school! "