Is Recess the Most Underutilized Opportunity in Schools Today?

Recess is an essential component for students to succeed and grow in school. Yet, many schools have cut back on recess time and frequency to focus on academic content. This presentation focuses on what the research says about the impact recess has on indirect factors such as academics and direct factors such as youth development. Topics include:

  • Defining recess
  • Recess status and policies here and elsewhere
  • Recess and academic, physical, and social skills development impact
  • Recess – Should it be unstructured or structured?
  • What you can do to support recess


Presentation Slides

Parents’ Voices

Teachers’ Voices

Links to Research and Positions from National Organizations 


Building the Foundation for School Success: Introducing The Parent-Child Home Program

Preparing children to enter school with the cognitive and social-emotional skills they need to be successful students is critical to bridging the achievement gap. The Parent-Child Home Program, a school readiness program replicated in communities across the country, successfully prepares two- and three-year-olds to enter school ready to learn. Working with parents and children together, the model effectively builds the language, pre-literacy, and social-emotional skills, and parent involvement necessary for academic success. Forty-five years of research and evaluation establishes the Program’s success.

  • What can be done to help parents prepare their children for success in school?
  • What does the research say about these early interventions?


Presentation Slides pdf.

Kindergarten Readiness and School Success for Buffalo Parent-Child Home Program Graduates pdf(2010).

Learning how to play pdf(2010).  The Boston Globe.

Partnership for America’s Economic Success. (2010)

Recipe for Success in South Carolina pdf(2010).

Soaring to Success Through Books and Play pdf(2010).

The Parent-Child Home Program(2010).

The Parent-Child Home Program at a Glance pdf(2010).

Title I-Eligible Parent-Child Home Program Graduates Are Better Prepared For Kindergarten(2010).

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (2010).  Video: Parent-Child Home Program.

Applications of the Reggio Emilia Approach to U.S. Early Childhood Education Classrooms

This webcast focuses on an international early childhood approach that is influencing practices in the United States and globally. Brought to the U.S. in the early 1990s, the Reggio Emilia Approach is a constructivist approach that places emphases on the capacity of the young child as a learner; the importance of the learning environment; relationships between teachers and children, teachers and parents, and among the teaching staff; integrated curriculum with a focus on the arts; documentation of the multiple voices of children; and the critical role of the community and parents in the vitality of the schools and classrooms. The Reggio Emilia Approach inspires early educators around the world and encourages us all to appreciate the importance of the early childhood experience and the support of the community as an important step in preparing young children for successful development and academic achievement.


Presentation Slides  pdf

North American Reggio Emilia Alliance(2012).

Stegelin, D. A. (2002).  Early Literacy Education: First Steps Toward Dropout PreventionEffective Strategies.

Stegelin, D. A. (2003).  Family Literacy Strategies: First Steps to Academic SuccessEffective Strategies.

Stegelin, D. A. (2011).  Reggio
 Emilia: Suggested 
Resources  pdf.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children(2012).

Video: Early Learning in the Reggio Emilia(2009).

Investing in Early Childhood Education: Making the Case for the 4K Program

Four-year-old kindergarten (4K) programs are becoming more common across the U.S. Designed as an enrichment opportunity prior to kindergarten, 4K incorporates play-based elements focused on nurturing the social, emotional, and early academic skills of four-year-old children. The importance and impact of 4K has grown based upon recent studies indicating that early childhood investments such as 4K positively impact the U.S. economy in productivity growth, job creation, and a competitive future workforce. Further, a study by The PEW Center on the States showed that effective early childhood programs also benefit at-risk children through higher test scores and improved social and emotional skills.


Center on the Developing Child(2015).

Institute for Child Success(2015).

Heckman, J. J. (2012).  Invest in Early Childhood Development: Reduce Deficits, Strengthen the EconomyHeckman Institute.

Stegelin, D. (2015).  Policy Matters: Showcasing Education That Works.

Summers, J. (2014).  Rich Kid, Poor Kid: For 30 Years, Baltimore Study Tracked Who Gets Ahead.

Hart, B., & Risley, T. R. (2003).  The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3  pdfAmerican Federation of Teachers.

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