Jun 24, 2024

Recess Rocks RI announces 2024 Recess Champions

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (June 20, 2024) – Recess Rocks in RI, which promotes the health benefits of physical activity and fun social play at recess, has announced its school-based 2024 Recess Champions.

The champions are:

  • Joseph Bermudez Rojas of Veterans Memorial Elementary School, Central Falls
  • Tara Badway of Lawn Avenue School, Jamestown
  • Jenna Bouchard and Heather Annicelli of Horgan Elementary School, West Warwick

Champions were honored recently at celebrations at their schools during which they were presented with a certificate recognizing their achievements working with the students.

Recess Rocks in RI is a partnership made up of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Playworks New England, and Rhode Island Healthy Schools Coalition. It is a free training program for school and recess staff, designed to ensure that recess ​is a safe, meaningful, and ​healthy experience ​for every child. ​

Recess has tangible health and social-emotional benefits for kids and is a time for children to have fun, be physically active, and create positive relationships. ​ Recess Rocks in RI aims to help young people establish healthy habits, increase physical activity, and develop critical social and emotional skills through play such as teamwork, interpersonal communication, and leadership. Kids are learning healthy habits that can last a lifetime. This can impact future healthcare costs for the next generation throughout the state.

Here’s what nominees said about this year’s champions:

  • Jenna and Heather assisted in “bringing Recess Rocks core values to all grade levels” at Horgan by informing staff of games of the week, modeling games, redesigning the recess yards, and creating an overall “shift in the recess culture of our schools.” This was Horgan’s first year with Recess Rocks.
  • Joseph at Veterans “thought outside the box on games you could successfully play on the concrete playground [and] went out and purchased ring-toss, cornhole and tic-tac-toe” so that students had positive, engaging game options at recess.
  • Tara at Lawn School “works directly with students to help them have a fun and engaging recess” by suggesting games, keeping the recess cart stocked and ready, and offering different locations so everyone has a place to play. “Tara includes everyone and helps to bring students together so all are involved.”

The Recess Rocks movement continues to grow across the Ocean State as educators increasingly prioritize the health and well-being of their students. Recess Rocks has been actively encouraging and supporting efforts to incorporate – and pilot –safe and healthy play into the school environment.

School communities interested in joining the Recess Rocks movement can learn more about the program online.