After being bullied, Aurora 4th-grader works to make recess more inclusive

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AURORA, Colo. -- A local girl is working with a non-profit group to make recess time more inclusive for kids.

Teachers report spending about two hours a day resolving conflicts that start at recess. For some students, recess can be the worst part of their day.

At Montview Elementary in Aurora, one will find a different kind of recess. It's common to find older kids helping the younger ones. The older kids even lead games and make sure everyone is included.

It wasn't always like that. Fourth-grader Lailaney Saucedo used to stay inside during recess.

“Kids were being teased. They weren’t comfortable with coming outside and they were getting bullied," Saucedo said.

The inclusive fun outside time started this year. It's all thanks to a non-profit organization called Playworks. The group's mission is to ensure recess is a time students look forward to rather than dread.

“It starts at recess; that is really our sweet spot. The magic of the program is really how the interventions that we teach at recess ripple throughout the school day," said Andrew Woolley with Playworks.

Playworks brought in adults to act as coaches, then assigned junior coaches like Saucedo. They meet every week and then take what they talk about to the playground.

“My job is to lead the children with their games and lead them with cheers," Saucedo said.

A new playground environment was created and Saucedo says recess is much better now.

Playworks is now working with 40,000 groups across Colorado.

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