Lana Fleming, principal of P.S. 180 in Harlem, was not satisfied with the quality of recess at her school. The time dedicated to recess was short, students were not engaging in physical activity, girls were not involved, and interactions among students were not always positive.


She knew recess needed structure, so she turned to Asphalt Green because she had positive experiences with our free learn-to-swim Waterproofing program and Community Sports Leagues. Our Recess Enhancement Program (REP) stepped in with an activity plan that is tailored to address the challenges facing many New York City public schools to provide organized, fun, and active games for kids during recess.


Since Lana implemented REP, she’s seen positive changes in her students. She says Asphalt Green’s programming has provided balance during a highly structured, academically intensive school day. She believes recess gives students the opportunity to de-stress and explore other interests. By meeting a child’s physical development needs, students are motivated to learn.


Today, the majority of students, girls included, are excited to participate in recess, and she’s noticed children developing social and behavioral skills.


“I think so many positive skills are built through sports and other enrichment activities that are offered by programs like [those at] Asphalt Green,” Lana says. “Programs like this are instrumental in helping to create good citizens, good New Yorkers, and good people.” 


Science backs REP up. A multi-year study conducted by Hunter College found Asphalt Green’s recess curriculum is highly effective in getting students active. With a REP coach present, 4 in 5 girls were observed participating in active recess. Prior to implementing the program, only 1 in 5 girls were observed participating.


“Our mission [at P.S. 180] is really about excellence—not only education but also enrichment,” Lana says. “Asphalt Green programs help us in meeting and fulfilling that mission.”