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WPES Help Amp up Recess and Take Care of Planet Earth

Joanne Woodworth,   West Point Elem School
Breakfast For Everyone — First Meal Matters
Our Game Plan for this Year is that we chose 3 goals. #1 Community Activities for people outside our school: We gathered school supplies for the victims of Hurricane Florence, Packing Food for Deployed Soldiers to Afghanistan, Toys for Tots,  Souper Bowl and a food drive for our local food pantry #2: Amping Up Recess EZ Tally program: Every student has a card with a QR code on it. Every time you walk or run a lap around the bus loop, you scan your card and a tally is kept all year long. At 100 miles, you get to be the principal’s assistant for a day. Basketball Shooting Contest: Stand on a green or blue line, without moving your feet, you have 5 shots.The highest shooters go into the Challenge Finals (AND they get to eat lunch in the gym.) In the Finals, everyone gets 10 shots. 1st place got a cool T shirt. OOC: End of February, we went to the Arvin Gym at the United States Military Academy at West Point and Dr. Woodworth gave a talk about how the Cadets will be tested on their Indoor Obstacle Course (IOC). We watched many cadets run through the timed course. It was very cool, and it looked very difficult, but the things soldiers may be expected to do. We are in the process of designing an Outdoor Obstacle Course (OOC) for our students to use at recess and to have a competition at the beginning of May.. #3: Caring for Planet Earth Compost: the 4th graders are saving their organic materials from lunch and snack for the compost bucket. At the end of the week, Mr. Gale and Mr. Nestler assign two students to drop all the compost material in the compost pile outside the 4th grade classrooms. *WPES Student Leadership led the way this year and can boast that there are 77 members of our Fuel Up to Play 60 Team in grades K-4.  

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

One of our biggest challenges was encouraging others to join Fuel Up to Play 60. One very specific strategy that was used this year is that it was part of Student Leadership. Our expectation was that the 30 student leaders in grades 2-4 were to sign up either online or pledge. We used the Leadership Mini-Lessons to help us know how leaders lead. Our School’s Student Leadership worked hard at encouraging others to participate and we grew our team to 77 members in grades K-4.

How do you plan to make this Play last during the school year and beyond?

Our Plays continue to grow in number each year. Once we began composting, the students from our team didn’t want to stop! We have continued to make recess better each year, so that challenge is always tweaked a bit but nobody wants to stop improving movement opportunities. I think the best way to describe the changes over the years is that it becomes the expected culture at our school. How great is that?