(pictured: TCU Project Team Leaders, Dr. Debbie Rhea, LiiNK Project Creator & Dir., Superintendent Daniel Gallagher, and LEISD K-1 teachers at Chavez, Hackberry and Oak Point)Little Elm ISD has brought the LiiNK Project to three elementary schools for the 2016-2017 school year, which has tripled the amount of recess students have every day. But, it is more than giving students in kindergarten and first grade more recess time, it's a prescription to positively affect students' behavior and academics, but offering four positive character lessons each week. This helps students learn to be problem solvers, productive, healthy, create positive social interactions, learning friendships, and how to be resilient.
The LiiNK Project, designed by Kinesiologist Dr. Debbie Rhea of Texas Christian University, is modeled after the Finnish school system in Finland where four recesses are part of the students' school day. Finland has an academic performance reputation for students consistently scoring high in the international rankings. Its American counterpart, LiiNK, which stands for Let's Inspire Innovation 'N Kids is a gra nt program through TCU.Students in kindergarten and first grade at three Little Elm ISD schools, Chavez, Hackberry and Oak Point, have benefited from the LiiNK Project in its first year. During the 2016-2017, TCU research has shown a dip in behaviors from 60% down to 28%. Their research has also shown a decrease in child body mass index (BMI) by half of a percent, down from 16.2% as compared to other schools not participating in LiiNK.
For the 2017-2018 school year, the project will bring on Brent, Lakeview, and Prestwick K-1, and roll the other three campuses to include second grade.