Fourth-graders at the William Dick School, in North Philly, listened intently yesterday as they learned the rules of dodgeball.

“If someone taps you with the ball, you’re out,” said “recess coach” Joe Cokes, demonstrating by touching a ball to a student’s chest. “If you don’t catch the ball, you’re out.”

After a few more lessons, Cokes blew his whistle and the kids sprinted to their sides to play.  Cokes is one of several “recess coaches” from a youth-fitness advocacy group that’s in the city this week teaching kids in nine district schools how to play nice during recess.

Playworks, a California-based nonprofit, not only teaches low-income students across the nation how to play games, but how to lead games and equip the students with leadership skills to solve conflicts on their own, said Jill Vialet, who founded the group 15 years ago.

The group, formerly known as Sport4Kids, operates in urban districts in 10 other large cities and is here as part of a pilot program. LINK

It is absolutely insane on a titanic level what is going on in our nation’s school systems. In Philly, the school superintendent is getting thousands of tax dollars in “Performance Bonus” money at a time when they are bringing in “recess coaches.”


This is madness. Kids used to learn how to play “Dodge Ball” and other street games in Gym class. God only knows what they are doing in gym these days but apparently it isn’t enough. Maybe all the recess rules these idiot administrators have slapped on the school yard is to blame. God only knows you can’t run, play tag, or play any of the traditional school yard games we all grew up with. Compound that with the non-stop video game culture we allow the kids to live in and is it any wonder they are out of shape?

Let me give you a quick example: Peach is playing softball on two teams this year. Her school team has a rule that they can’t start another inning if it will run past 5pm. They start around 3:30 so the game only lasts an hour and a half. That means the game usually ends prematurely. No late inning rallies. No gut check, come from behind wins. The umpire just calls the game. Why? Because of INSURANCE rules. Someone needs to explain why the game can’t go on until 6pm. In this part of the country it is daylight until 8pm easily during the late spring and summer.

They are ending the activities early yet complaining the kids are fat. They don’t let them play, yet have to bring in “recess Coaches.” It’s unacceptable.

Good God what is going on in America when we need “Recess Coaches”?


  1. John D says:

    This is why I’m willing to shell out my own money to send my kids to private school. The public education establishment in this country is losing touch with reality, and nobody in power is willing to call bullsh*t.

  2. Ingineer66 says:

    Well we only spend $8,000 to $14,000 per pupil on education per year. What do you expect for that paltry amount of money, results? This is no different than Fed Ex having to hire tutors to teach kids to read and write because they are not learning it in school. Crazy that we used to have such a wonderful education system but the more we spend the less education it actually provides.

  3. Old NFO says:

    PCism is what is going on… sigh… You can’t have the little darlings unsupervised, EVAR…

  4. Kim says:

    And here I am in the space of two hours today patching up four scraped knees among three children (one scraped her knee twice) and checking a dog’s leg to see if it is seriously hurt after an encounter with my five year old. (Dog got stepped on.) I looked to the other mom, shrugged, and said “Wow! A 9 year old (and 7 year old and 3 year old) has a scraped knee. IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD!” She laughed.

    These children would never survive public school. Either that or the public school would not survive them.

  5. Bob G. says:

    Seems the Philly school district could save a TON of money by doing one, small thing…

    (and the recess “coaches”)

    Old NFO:
    The kids can’t be unsupervised AT SCHOOL…but as soon as they get home, that’s a whole other ballgame…(roaming the streets until way after dark comes to mind).

    Trying to turn the schools into surrogate parents is just WRONG.
    But I’m from a much simpler time.
    (and it shows)


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