The Saskatchewan Blue Cross Recess Guardians was first started as a way to get youth more active during recess.
Through an internship at one of Saskatoon’s community schools, we saw that recesses were not what they once were. Much to our surprise, it appeared as though the students had simply forgotten how to play at recess. Instead, many of the students used recess as a time to gossip, bully one another, and get into mischief. Further, students were increasingly attached to their screens they carried around—iPods, cell phones and other similar devices.
Knowing what impact inactivity has on a young mind, the founders of SBC Recess Guardians developed a simple program with the goal of teaching kids just that: how to play again.
SBC Recess Guardians began in the 2008/2009 school year in Saskatoon. We started off running in 11 community schools, with volunteers from the University of Saskatchewan College Of Kinesiology. The first year was a drop-in program, but as we have progressed, we have a developed a structure that has largely contributed to the success and growth we are seeing today.
For all four years of our existence, we have been funded by the Law Enforcement Guardians of Saskatoon through Care & Share. It has been a great partnership, as we share three common goals:
Keeping children safe, teaching them leadership skills, and getting them active!
In 2011, Saskatchewan Blue Cross jumped on board as one of our amazing sponsors. From their support, we have been able to expand the program across the province, bring on more volunteers, and add diversity in the programs we offer. In 2012, they became our title sponsor in Saskatchewan, and we look forward to making the program even bigger and better for youth across the country.
The program is now in over 200 schools across Saskatchewan. Our success is entirely contributed to the support from our local and provincial partners, the volunteers that bring energy to each session, and to the schools who are dedicated to making recess an enjoyable and inclusive experience for everyone!