I'm so excited to be spotlighting the middle-grade book, Recess Rules, today! Jill Vialet, the author and founder and CEO of Playworks, is here with a guest post. Plus, I have three copies to give away...
by Jill Vialet
After losing her parents in a car crash at age 8, life just hasn't been the same for Cassie Murphy. Now a fifth grader at Magruder Elementary, Cassie and her three friends, Zee, Toni and Bryant, have been trying to make the best of the same old routine of school, but somehow all the fun has been sucked out of it, and especially at recess. Between a dwindling number of students on the blacktop and Marcus Mackey’s need to bully away any games that might be had, Cassie and her crew are on the verge of giving up on their formerly beloved recess. The four friends get help from an unexpected place when an “angel-on-probation” named Clarence is sent to earth to help them fix recess. Clarence’s crusade gains new importance along the way, as Cassie learns that it’s alright to take the risk and care enough to try to change things for the better.
Recess is just starting to be fun again when the Superintendent visits and unveils his plan to eliminate recess altogether. Cassie and her friends are devastated, but they realize they have just one shot to convince the Superintendent that recess is important. Determined as they are, a bizarre set of events including two suspensions, a visit from a news crew, and a food fight threaten to derail their plans and ruin recess for good. Will Cassie and her friends be able to convince the Superintendent that it's worth the risk to care about recess, too?
Reading, Four Square and Autonomy
by Jill Vialet, Playworks CEO and author of new kids’ novel Recess Rules
With increased literacy, kids’ worlds open up to unimaginable things. However, without the motivation to read, they may never develop the literacy necessary to reach their potential. Author Theresa A. Roberts notes that there are “three needs that children have, that when met, will lead to motivation for literacy -- competence, autonomy, and relatedness.
“When children's need for autonomy is nourished, they feel that their literacy behavior is initiated from within or at least that they have an inner endorsement of significance and value of the literacy activity. They have personally bought in to the importance of literacy.”
For many students, the reading block is draining! Without confidence or autonomy, struggling students feel trapped. But these same students often shine on the playground -- leading other children in games, fairly solving peers’ conflicts, and demonstrating a confidence mysteriously absent from their classroom performance.
So what is it that recess provides that reading programs do not?
In my new kids novel Recess Rules, fifth grader Cassie and her three friends, have been trying to make the best of recess. Between a dwindling number of students on the blacktop and Marcus Mackey’s need to bully away any games that might be had, Cassie and her crew are on the verge of giving up on their formerly beloved recess. The four friends get help from an unexpected place when an “angel-on-probation” named Clarence is sent to earth to help them fix recess.
Recess is just starting to be fun again when the Superintendent visits and unveils his plan to eliminate recess altogether. Soon, Cassie and her friends have developed the confidence to take a shot at convincing the Superintendent that recess is important!
At recess, students are given guidance, choice, and autonomy. At recess, children play hard and cheer loudly. Every child can discover their superpowers. Children develop a sense a confidence through play. At recess, every child belongs.
Let’s harness the power of recess in reading! We can give students choice and a voice in our literacy programs.
If we can bridge a child’s autonomy and confidence on the playground with their experience in the classroom, we may be able to encourage a few more happy readers. If we can engage young learners with books in the same way they engage with the blacktop or a kickball or a jump rope--as a tool to inspire and interact with--then the ideas and dreams formed from reading will be entirely their own.
Learn more about Recess Rules at www.playworks.org!
Jill Vialet is the CEO and founder of Playworks. Jill has won a number of awards for her work with Playworks, including the Ashoka Fellowship, the Forbes 30 Leading Social Entrepreneurs, the James Irvine Award and the Women's Sports Foundation's 40 for 40. Jill grew up in Washington, DC where she played in epic games of Capture the Flag as a child. She now lives in Oakland, California with her family. Recess Rules is her first book.
Win a print copy of Recess Rules!
Thanks to the author, I have three copies of her book for three winners.
-will end 11/15
-must be 13+, one free entry per person
-winners will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-I am NOT responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes
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