"Our Playground program has been in operation for five years and we have found that the students are enjoying the activities and leadership that are being provided by their peers on the playground. The majority of the students at Vincent Massey Community School are now active during recess time. Given the proper equipment and leadership, the students have found success with their outside time on the playgound. This school year, a 10-minute afternoon recess has been added to the school schedule that was not there before. Our school is committed to providing Playgound Leadership becuase we have seen it make a difference"

- Teacher, Vincent Massey Community School

"St. Michael Community School has embraced the Recess Guardian Program for the last two years. This three month program runs after school for one hour, once a week. Two dynamic leaders share a wealth of knowledge leading our students through new skills and fun activities. The emphasis is on having a positive attitude, team building and of course learning activities that those students can take onto the playground or share in the classroom. It is wonderful to see so many students staying after school to participate in this program. This is the perfect program to help build the leaders of tomorrow."

- Teacher, St. Michael Community School

"I thought the Recess Guardians training was excellent. Its free. Valuable. Easy to train kids in recess games. Teaches Inclusion. I would do it again."

- Teacher, Saskatchewan Elementary School

"The guy from SK Blue Cross was awesome today. Easy games....they all got a book and tshirt plus the school got a book! The kids loved it....and they were using the games that day at lunch."

- Teacher, Saskatchewan Elementary School

"The kids at our school loved the program! They loved it so much that today, four students came to the office on their own and asked if they could run some games at lunch recess! We put it on announcements and expect a pretty good turn out. Incredible immediate impact not just with the students who were in the workshop but also with the student body as well. Unreal presentation! We loved it. Looking forward to having our students implement the Recess Guardians Program into our school year!"

- Teacher, Saskatchewan Elementary School

"It was great for the kids - well worth it! We had Kale and he was awesome with the group! Please thank Kale for his work with our students. "

- Teacher, Saskatchewan Elementary School

"Thank you so much for your excellent leadership and for inspiring our Grade 5’s this past week. We are off to a great start and have excellent feedback from teachers and younger students regarding the implementation of Recess Guardians! This training could not have come at a better time nor have been more appreciated than by our staff."

- Teacher, Saskatchewan Elementary School

"Hey Ryan, Thanks for setting this up. The students were extremely engaged. The presenter Kale was fantastic. He had the students attention and explained the games well so that all kids were successful. Having the students share the games with little buddies was a great opportunity for them to practice. Great presentation for sure."

- Teacher, Saskatchewan Elementary School

"Our class really enjoyed you teaching us games like Drop, Drop, Drop, Fox and the Squirrel, Animal Kingdom and Concentration. It was very fun! We have been having a great time teaching those games to the younger kids. We sometimes are having troubles mostly with some students listening or following the directions and staying inside the boundaries. But most of the time it goes really well. Animal Kingdome is most popular. It is fun for the kids to make new friends. It feels good when we are outside with our yellow shirts and we can see the students racing to us to play a game. Thank you for coming to teach us games for the little kids on the playground and in the gym. We are so “greatful” to you. Thank you!"

- Students, Brevoort Park School


The Recess Guardian Impact

Why do we do what we do? We remember recesses being the best thing since sliced bread. As kids, recess was our chance at freedom--our chance to break away from the constraints of multiplication tables and social studies to go kick a ball, jump rope, run until we were blue in the face, and to just be kids. What we discovered in many of our community schools was that this was not the same experience for many of the children. Instead of being a quick break to let off some steam, socialize with friends, and improve physical literacy and coordination, recesses have become somewhat chaotic. A large portion of discipline-related problems in school occur during lunch and recess. Students were being bullied and solicited by outsiders for gangs, prostitution and drug activity. Rather than feeling confident and energized, students were returning from recess upset, aggressive, hurt, and unable to concentrate. In some cases, many schools were forced to take away recess time in order to meet this challenge.

Recess Guardians is taking back the playground and making recess fun again! To do this, we empower students to become leaders and take responsibility for their own playground. By equipping them with the skills and equipment to lead activities on their playground, we are already seeing some tremendous results:

  • A decrease in bullying and exclusivity on the playground
  • Better and teamwork cooperation among students
  • Increased interest in physical activity and exercise
  • Improved performance in studies

Parent Testimonial

This is my son’s first year of school.  He is in Kindergarten. He is a very active kid, always running, jumping and looking to play chase or some new game he has just made up.  Now he is also a shy / cautious kid when it comes to new surroundings, people etc.  

The little guy had a bit of a tough time adjusting to Kindergarten. To make matters worse there was an incident with an older student during one recess. It was more of a misunderstanding and everything got straightened out.  Nonetheless, at this point he was done with recess.  For the next 2-3 weeks he would follow around the teacher who happened to be on supervising duty at that time. Day in day out just standing by the teacher each and every recess.  This active kid who loves to play just standing around the teacher!!  Just picturing it, still breaks my heart!

His kindergarten teacher who was very supportive throughout all this mentioned the Recess Guardian program could help. She arranged for a couple older kids who were Recess Guardians to play with him and a couple of his classmates.  This went on for about 1-2 weeks during which time he gained confidence and comfort in playing in the controlled chaos of school recess.   After a while he no longer needed the Guardians he would be off playing with his friends on his own.  The change was incredible, it positively impacted his entire feelings towards school!

A huge THANK YOU from us, your program has been great for him and our family!  You have a champion in me.