Glen View Elementary Lunch Bunch 2021-2022 Project Narrative:
Our school has a large number of students who are struggling with social interactions during first and lunch recesses. The pandemic has further created challenges that are greatly impacting our student’s social and emotional health. In particular, communication and social problem-solving have greatly been impacted by the lack of social practice, stress, over-exposure to social-media, and isolation children across the world have experienced. Many of my students have returned lacking the age appropriate communication practice needed to be successful in a peer group. This has created difficulties during unstructured times when children socialize without the close guidance of their teachers.
Currently, students are allowed a variety of physical outdoor activities during their free time; however, for students who have difficulties participating in team activities, forming friendships, and/or socializing with peers, the recess hours have been challenging. At this time 80% of our office discipline referrals are occurring during first and lunch recesses, which is further necessitating intervention during these times. Our discipline referrals have been decreasing since January; so we believe whatever large scale tier one interventions we can implement are helping with behavioral challenges.
We have implemented Lunch Bunch weekly every Wednesday from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. This year we ordered larger games that would be easier to allow for social distancing, that could create a tool allowing multiple students to learn from a single activity (the larger game sizes allowed for multiple students to model social skills and for others to observe). Also, | did not anticipate this, but our games were used for several school-wide activities in which many times families/guardians were also involved. Lastly, the larger games were more attractive to our older students.
The Lunch Bunch will continue in the upcoming academic years, due to the program’s success this year and during previous years. In the upcoming academic year we will offer this program twice weekly to increase the social emotional learning our students have access to. Originally, Escondido Education Foundation had funded this project in 2017. The games we purchased were table games and small crafts. The students learned a lot from this, but the larger toys allow for more learning and reach a larger group of students.