recess rocks in ri overview
By helping young people establish healthy habits through play, we not only help lower the risk of child obesity and the other serious conditions it can lead to, we also help lower healthcare costs in the long term for all Rhode Islanders.
Many habits are learned when we are young, and the formation of a healthy lifestyle should not be an exception. Research has shown that playtime not only positively impacts childhood development, but also improves academic performance.
Children who are more active are more attentive, process things at a greater cognitive speed, and perform better on standardized tests than children who aren’t as active. Playtime also improves social skills and helps develop emotional maturity.
Recess Rocks in RI is a partnership among 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 by Playworks and funded by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI, to ensure that recess is a safe, meaningful, and healthy experience for every child.
RRIRI / playworks participating staff
RRIRI benefits from talent and expertise from Playworks, the leading national nonprofit leveraging the power of play to transform children’s physical, social and emotional health. Playworks changes school culture by leveraging the power of safe, fun, and healthy play at school. They create a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills.
Dawn Lavallee | Pro Trainer
Dawn Lavallee first started with Playworks in 2012. She spent two years as a coach at Mather Elementary in Dorchester and two years as the FAO Schwarz Fellow. In this role, she had the unique opportunity to support coaches in integrating more social and emotional learning into their work and building connections between Junior Coach alumni in the Boston area.
She earned an MBA with a focus on Leadership and Organizational Transformation at Boston University and stayed connected to Playworks as part of the New England Leadership Council. She is excited to bring that knowledge and experience to schools throughout Rhode Island!
Jill Barry | regional partnership director
Jill started her journey at Playworks in 2015 as an AmeriCorps Coach and previously served as the regional trainer. Jill has worked in education in New England for almost a decade. She has built partnerships with schools in rural New Hampshire, created original theater with veterans in New Your City and taught in Boston Public Schools.
Jill holds a BA in Theatre Studies from Emerson College and an MA in Applied Theatre from the City University of New York. She brings passion to everything she does as a trainer and now as Regional Partnership Director.