ImpACT of Remote Recess: Reaching Students During Distance Learning

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Author: Danielle Zahn, Pure Game Field Champion and Research and Development Coordinator 

As the school year comes to a close, students are wrapping up their distance learning activities and preparing to jump into summer fun! Along with the end of the academic year also comes the end of Pure Game’s in-school programs until they pick up again next fall. Although we are sad to be leaving our students for the summer, the end of the school year can also serve a positive role by giving our organization time to reflect on the impact of our programs and the meaning they have for the students participating in them. While the end of this school year looks a little different from what we are used to, the idea of reflection remains the same and is fundamental for helping Pure Game grow, succeed, and offer our best to everyone we serve.  

With the launch of Pure Game’s Remote Recess Program in March, our organization was able to continue serving students at each of our school partners. Field Champions created video activities and games, which were emailed to school principals twice a week, along with character development and social and emotional learning lessons. This way, during at-home learning, students had the opportunity to remain actively engaged in Pure Game’s activities while reaping the benefits our curriculum offers.  

Throughout our 11-week Remote Recess Program, our team released 22 game and activity videos to our school partners, which were collectively viewed over 3,000 times! In addition, we created and distributed 14 different character development and social and emotional learning worksheets to our school partners for students to work through each week. Furthermore, we sent out four different journal worksheets for students in order to offer a space for them to express their feelings and help them cope with the changes they experienced while transitioning to at-home learning.  

Overall, the Remote Recess Program received great positive feedback! As a whole, school partners were quite satisfied with Pure Game going remote during these times in order to continue giving their students access to our programs. In addition, our schools showed appreciation for the work our Field Champions put into developing the program and creating all of the resources we distributed. In a feedback report from our school partners, the majority of them rated our Remote Recess Program as either very or extremely helpful for their students, demonstrating the program’s significant impact. In addition, several partners provided personal testimonies regarding the success of Remote Recess at their schools, with one principal stating, “thank you, we appreciate your effort to stay connected with students during this school closure time. Your lessons are thoughtful and aim to connect with the social-emotional learning of our students as well as their physical learning.”  Other principals commented on the success of our program’s efforts to help students transition to at-home learning, saying that “we appreciate the support and the videos are easy to share and a fun way to get in some physical activity options as we all get used to distance learning.” Furthermore, “teachers have shared that students feel excited and engaged to exercise together during the school closure time; it provides them a sense of normalcy.”  

From the feedback we received, it is clear that the Pure Game Remote Recess Program was a SUCCESS, and we are thrilled to see the significant impact it had on our students! Our Field Champions enjoyed creating the program and being able to stay connected with students during these times. However, our work doesn’t end here. We now have the challenge of creating an even better, even more fun, and even more engaging and thoughtful program for our students when we return in the fall. As the new school year approaches, there is also uncertainty in the number of schools that will be able to fund the renewal of their partnership with Pure Game, and it is our goal to support those schools and continue working with their students. Pure Game is excited to continue expanding our programming and creating resources to help students learn and positively develop. Yet, we cannot accomplish these lofty goals without support from people like you! As we approach our ImpACT Anaheim Giving Day on Wednesday, June 17th, we turn to you and ask for your help to sustain and grow our programs, allowing Pure Game to continue making a difference in young students’ lives and serving schools in need! Thank you for your support. 

Feel free to record your students participating in our games and share them on social media with #thepuregame and #PGremoterecess. Remember to HAVE FUN and STAY ACTIVE! 

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