One of the biggest resistors to a kid’s lifestyle changing can be their parents. Inherently, people don’t like change, especially parents when it comes to changes that affect their children. If you choose to implement recess before lunch, it will be important to manage parent concerns respectfully and confidently. For example: you might expect a backlash with regards to kids being active on an empty stomach. This can allow you an opportunity to promote participation in your breakfast program and offer additional incentives to the change, like mid-day snacks. Other tips that could ease the minds of parents and superiors would be suggesting a one-year pilot program to test out the idea, just to see how it performs. If the value is realized, then denying the implementation seems less likely.
Finally, the challenge of proving that value to your superiors isn’t as hard as you might think. The cost-benefit analysis of this strategy clearly depicts a low cost, high benefit model. The only expense you might inherit is the price required to produce more food. But, as you know, the reason behind that cost is the benefit of increased student participation in your school nutrition program, and increased revenue is something almost any board member can support.
If that is the question, then what is the answer?
The answer to the question posed in the title of this blog might seem a bit clearer now, but before that answer is conclusive, understanding the finer details is important. As previously mentioned, changing a tradition is difficult and requires value proposition. But to plan for success, one also needs to plan for failure. Having a plan of action to account for as many shortcomings and issues that can come with this change is necessary.
Some districts have come across a few scenarios like dealing with handling homemade lunches, dirty hands and food, debit cards getting left in the cafeteria, etc. Schools have combatted these issues with strategies such as having a ‘lunch basket’ that contains all the homemade lunches for each classroom ready for the students to receive after recess. Additional adjustments included installing hand-sanitizing stations in and around the cafeteria, which can also help reduce the spread of bacteria amongst the student body.
To wrap up, challenges always present themselves with change. They go hand-in-hand, kind of like the traditional concept of recess after lunch. But some of the most successful ventures can flourish by breaking the mold and accepting a new way of thinking. Contrary to popular belief, it is okay to watch basketball, eat a cherry pie, and even have recess before lunch.