Recess is a time for Playground Pals

Playground pals is an exciting time at recess for those from K4 through first grade. Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders can voluntarily give up their recess to be with the younger children. Often, when middle schoolers volunteer to be playground pals they end up playing games that the little kids enjoy, like four square or jump rope.                                                                                      

 Mr. Jefferson, the St. Robert gym teacher, created playground pals eight years ago. Mr. Jefferson started playground pals so that the older kids could help him with activities for the younger students, giving the children something to do during their recess. Mr. Jefferson said that the little kids enjoy when the older kids play with them because “It makes them feel grown-up and noticed.” 

Lily Littrell, a volunteer during recess, says she enjoys playground pals because “[the] younger kids go crazy while they scream, and [she has] to do a lot of running around.” Playground pals is a lot of fun for the older kids too. Many of the eighth grade playground pals said that it is nice to see the first graders, for they have volunteered all their middle school years, so they get to see them grow-up over the course of three years. 

Not only is playground pals a beneficial way to serve the younger students, but it’s also a time for the older kids to relax and have fun. Lily Littrell does playground pals to get outside. She explains that if she didn’t do playground pals, she wouldn’t go outside. Many of the middle schoolers spend time inside doing homework or talking to teachers. Very few students go out for recess because of the cold weather. Instead, indoor recess is viewed as an enjoyable recess to the middle schoolers. Middle schoolers mainly go to recess if it is indoor to play their favorite sports such as soccer, dodgeball, volleyball, and basketball in the gym.

Playing with the younger kids brings joy to the middle schoolers. Younger kids reintroduce them to childhood games such as duck-duck-goose, kick-the-can, tag, and four square. Many of the middle school playground pals enjoy playing these games because they don’t have the chance to play them during their regular recess. 




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