Recess Facilitation

Recess Facilitator currently offered at Lowry Elementary School: September 2014 – November 2014


Connect Us collaborates with elementary schools in creating safe and inclusive recess environments. Professionals trained in the Social Competence Inclusive Play Model (SCIP) use evidenced-based strategies and input from each school to customize and implement a Recess Facilitation Program.  Playground supervisors and parent volunteers are trained to guide structured games at recess, providing opportunities for all students to be included in group activities. 


SCIP Recess Facilitation Programs improve the social, emotional, and physical well-being of children. Research shows that bullying, injuries, and disputes decrease when children are engaged in purposeful play at recess (Thompson 28-29).  Studies also show that when adults engage with children on the playground, positive social interactions and physical activity levels increase (Thompson 28-29).  SCIP:

    • Maximizes the number of students involved in physical activities
    • Teaches children negotiation and conflict resolution strategies
    • Provides adult support and structure that many kids need to join group play

The Connect Us staff is highly skilled at helping children cultivate relationships with their peers. They offer a proactive approach to promoting social intelligence by working with children in real-time situations using child-directed, physical play to increase resiliency, flexibility, self-confidence and negotiation skills.
- Dr. Mary Shay, principal Cottonwood Creek Elementary School

    • Promotes cooperative, peaceful play, inclusion and respect for others
    • Reinforces social behavior expectations and playground rules
    • Redirects arguing students back to play
    • Lessens the number of disputes carried over into classrooms
    • Strengthens school’s character education
    • Reduces competitive intensity, rough play, aggressive behaviors, injuries and susceptibility to being or becoming a bully
    • Programs are cost-effective and self-sustaining

Connect Us offers ongoing support, as needed.

*Source: Thompson, Thom. “People Make the Difference in School Playground Safety.” Executive Educator 13.8 (1991): 28-29.



SCIP Recess Model

SCIP recess activities and inclusion strategies build relationship skills in four targeted areas of typical social development.


Connect Us provides all the tools, training, and ongoing support necessary for schools to sustain the recess facilitation programs using a six-step process.

Step 1:  Program Presentation - Connect Us will come to your school and present the program to staff, parent-teacher organizations, principals, etc.

Step 2:  Intake and Needs Assessment

    • Playground supervisors complete questionnaire to provide snapshot of each grade’s recess climate
    • Meeting with key stakeholders – e.g., principal, social worker, P.E. teacher, parents and/or playground supervisors to identify school’s strengths, needs, concerns, and goals
    • Observe lunch recess for targeted grades to assess configuration of playground, scope of supervision, available equipment, activity options, and social climate

Step 3:  Proposal for Services - Preliminary proposal based on school input and observations

Step 4:  Formal Recess Review – Includes two days of facilitation and assessment by Connect Us for targeted grades, followed by written evaluation and program recommendations

Step 5:  Program Implementation – Playground Parents Program and/or Recess Staff Training Program

Step 6:  Final Report


All programs include multiple facilitation visits and a formal recess review.  Fees depend on the program customized for an individual school.

Playground Parents Program

    • Program implementation includes multiple hands-on training visits, parent coordinator consultations, all materials needed to recruit parent volunteers, a customized volunteer training handbook complete with games, rules, guidelines and inclusion strategies, and 60-, 90-, and 120-day post-program reviews.

Recess Staff Training Program

    • Program implementation includes multiple hands-on training visits; a customized handbook of games, rules, guidelines and inclusion strategies; and three post-program reviews.

Professional Facilitation

    • Connect Us coaches facilitate recess or train school personnel and/or volunteers on an as-needed basis.

Consulting Services

    • Therapists consult with and train paraprofessionals teachers and teacher assistants in methods to increase inclusion among typically developing students and students with social, behavioral, or learning challenges.


Learn more about SCIP Recess Facilitation by calling 303-773-3960 or email

We are fortunate in having had the opportunity to collaborate with the Connect Us program here at High Plains Elementary School … The Connect Us staff went out of their way to help us establish our High 5 Playground Program and make sure that it was successfully up and running. They were actively engaged in every aspect of the implementation process from leading meetings for our parent volunteers to providing on-site training and coaching. As a result of their efforts, the playground program is now active in the first through third grades and we are looking to expand it to the fourth and fifth grades this year. We have a dedicated group of parent volunteers and more children are actively engaged during recess activities. We appreciate all of the effort Connect Us put into helping us make sure that our program was successful.
Lisa S. Wolff, PsyD, school psychologist

Recess volunteers have had a tremendous impact on the climate of our school. Adult-facilitated games have provided a safe place and physical play opportunities for students who aren’t comfortable playing sports, struggle with social skills or who simply have a difficult time navigating the playground during recess. In addition, parent volunteers are trained to help children quickly resolve conflicts, find friends who are alone at recess and offer guidance to students who tend to dominate group activities. The outcome has been a reduction in bullying, fewer disputes carrying over into the classroom after recess, less tattling and a faster transition to instruction time. As both a teacher and a parent of elementary-age children, I highly recommend a recess facilitation program to any school considering it. 
Natalie Morris, second-grade teacher, Cottonwood Creek Elementary School

As a playground parent volunteer, I was able to involve more reserved children in new playground games. It was fascinating to watch these timid children comfortably interact with outgoing kids, knowing that support was nearby. In addition, I found myself playing field games with a cross-section of students – both boys and girls, experienced players and those new to the games. With a grown-up facilitating the games, children were more willing to participate in games they may not have otherwise tried.
Stephanie Fisher, playground parent

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