8th Annual Regional School Health Champion Workshop

Rethinking Recess

Southern Alberta Recess Summit
May 31, 2019
8:30 am – 3:00 pm
Medicine Hat College

no fee & lunch is provided

 Get energized and inspired by national and provincial speakers sharing their research, lessons learned, and successes on their journeys to getting the most out of recess.

Download the full event brochure & agenda here:
Rethinking Recess 2019

Click Here to Register Now

The deadline to register is May 24, 2019.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Lauren McNamara

Lauren is an researcher, educator, innovator, social entrepreneur, child health advocate, speaker, writer, and Ashoka Fellow. She has over 20 years of experience working with school boards in the U.S. and Canada.

Trained as an educational psychologist, she has long been concerned about social relationships and their impact on overall health and well-being. She was one of the first researchers in Canada to document the social space of recess and role it plays in shaping children’s mental health. She was able to document what most of us know intuitively – recess can be a barren, soulless, and socially brutal environment.

Determined to find a way to break the normalized patterns of bullying, exclusion, and marginalization that undermine healthy relationships and meaningful play, she started Recess Project Canada in 2012. Since then, she has worked collectively with children, educators, and researchers throughout Ontario to create the blueprints for a new way to do recess. The project has grown exponentially and is now mobilizing Canada to ensure recess is part of the national conversation of healthy schools. Her work has earned her a lifetime fellowship into Ashoka, an internationally renowned organization that identifies and supports the world’s leading change-makers. Her motto is Healthy Kids = Healthy Adults = Healthy Society.

Dr. McNamara will share what she has learned from her research on recess, social connectedness, and health. She will share stories, examples, and excerpts from her data collection – data that includes over 2500 anonymous responses from students, including our local students. She will show how this social space influences children’s well being, school engagement, class participation, and collaboration – for better or for worse.

Dr. McNamara will share the blueprints for a whole new way to do recess. She will highlight the best practices from her ongoing collaboration with over 11,000 students and hundreds of staff from across 7 school boards. This new way to do recess transforms the space to support meaningful, inclusive, and physically active play; it has a solid body of research to support it. This preventive approach results in children who are happier, more engaged, and much more supportive of each other. They feel good. The discipline issues start to disappear and the effects cascade right into the classroom. Lauren will show how schools can redesign the space of recess in the most seamless and sustainable way possible. These best practices are customizable for any school and pace, whether you are ready to take baby steps or moon landing leaps.

Concurrent Sessions

Where There’s a Will There’s a Way
Dr. Lauren McNamara, Founder and Director of the Recess Project

Natural and Not so Natural
Scott Richter, City of Medicine Hat

Made in Medicine Hat
Sherri Hendricks, Principal, Vincent Massey School
Nick Gale, Principal, St. Francis Xavier School
Jason McLester, Education and Kinesiology Instructor, Medicine Hat College

Loose Parts Play
Ever Active Schools


Spring Girls on the Move Session

Family Leisure Centre

Wednesdays, February 27 to April 17 6:30-8pm

Free physical activity opportunity for girls ages 7+