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Promoting Participation and Health During Recess and Extracurricular Leisure Activities

Presented by: 

Susan Bazyk, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Susan Bazyk, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Attend live on May 15, 2024 or watch on demand the next day

Course Description

Non-academic times of the school day, can be significant contributors to student mental and physical health. Conditions that promote positive mental health include participation in enjoyable activities within caring environments that foster positive emotions (Fredrickson & Joiner, 2018).

When students participate in and enjoy healthy recess and after-school leisure activities, have good friends, and perceive school personnel to be supportive, they feel more connected to school which, in turn, enhances academic performance.

The aims of this session are to provide detailed information about how to implement the Refreshing Recess (RR) programs emphasizing inclusive participation, friendship promotion, mealtime conversations, healthy eating, and active play; and describe a tiered approach to Making Leisure Matter during after-school times. OTPs will be able to use the Every Moment Counts website to implement Refreshing Recess and promote leisure participation within a tiered model.

Learning Objectives

1. Learners will describe how to implement the Refreshing Recess programs focusing on inclusive participation, friendship promotion, active play, and teamwork in order to foster mental and physical health and build the capacity of supervisors

2. Learners will locate the sections of IDEA that describe the rights of students with disabilities to be provided the support needed to participate in extracurricular leisure activities

3. Learners will identify examples of individual, small group, and whole school strategies for promoting leisure participation in youth with a variety of disabilities &/or mental health challenges

Contact Hours

This course is 1.5 hour in length. (0.15 AOTA CEUs)

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National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy

As an AOTA-Approved provider of professional development, courses are accepted by NBCOT® at a rate of 1.25 NBCOT PDUs per each hour of course content.

NBCOT® is a registered trademark of The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc.

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Register for this course and future courses inside the OT Schoolhouse Collaborative for as little as $120


0-5 minutes


5-15 minutes

A brief introduction to tiered approachs to health (mental and physical) and how this aligns with OTP's role under IDEA and ESSA

15-25 minutes

Highlight the distinct value of OT services during unstructured times of the school day - recess and after-school leisure for promoting healthy play and leisure in children/youth with and without disabilities and/or mental health challenges

25-40 minutes

Describe the purpose and implementation of the Refreshing Recess program

40-55 minutes

Describe ways to modify the program based on the school setting; summarize research findings

55-60 minutes

Describe the Making Leisure Matter initiative

60-75 minutes

Describe implementation strategies for universal (Tier 1, whole school), targeted (Tier 2, small group), and individualized (Tier 3, OT leisure coaching)

75-85 minutes

Describe strategies for building capacity of OTPs to provide services during unstructured times of the school day.

85-90 minutes

Questions and Answers

Your Instructor

Susan Bazyk, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Susan Bazyk, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Susan Bazyk, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA is Professor Emerita of the Occupational Therapy Program at Cleveland State University and founding director of Every Moment Counts: Promoting Mental Health Throughout the Day – a multi-pronged mental health promotion initiative originally funded by the Ohio Department of Education (

In addition to authoring the book, Mental health promotion, prevention, and intervention with children and youth: A guiding framework for occupational therapy (2011), Dr. Bazyk has authored over 40 journal articles and book chapters in leading OT textbooks. She is nationally recognized for her research and leadership in building capacity of occupational therapy practitioners and interdisciplinary school professionals to address the mental health needs of children and youth.

From 2018-2020, Dr. Bazyk served as a content expert for a large, SAMHSA-funded initiative in collaboration with Dr. Sarah Nielsen (University of North Dakota). In this capacity, Susan developed a virtual, 5-month building capacity initiative that is housed on SAMHSA’s Healtheknowledge platform. As a Fulbright Specialist, Dr. Bazyk has presented on her work in New Zealand (2020) and in Ireland (October 2023).

Recent awards include: the 2016 Crain’s Cleveland Business Health Care Hero Award, the 2017 Outstanding Research Award for the College of Sciences and Health Professions at CSU, and the 2018 Award for Innovative and Emerging Practice from the American Occupational Therapy Association.


To access this course and others, become a member of the OT Schoolhouse Collaborative

OTS Collab is an online community dedicated to providing school-based OT practitioners with highly valuable professional development and interactive support to implement learned strategies. In OTS Collab, we learn together, support and encourage one another,  and celebrate our achievements as a collective whole.  

Click here to learn more about the OT Schoolhouse Collaborative and register in our dedicated community of school-based OT practitioners.

Instructional Methods

A combination of speaker presentation with a slide deck and both synchronous & asynchronous Q+A with the presenter.

Target Audience
& Educational Level

This is an introductory level course intended for occupational therapy practitioners working in school systems or with a goal to better understand occupational therapy in school systems

Course Completion Requirements

To receive a certificate for this course, you must watch the recorded course in its entirety. Then, you will need to take a learning assessment test and earn a score 75% or higher. If you pass, a certificate will be automatically generated and sent to your email.

Special Needs Requests

This course will include closed captioning and a transcript may be available upon request. You may also rewatch the course or sections of the course as needed. Additional accommodations may be requested by reaching out to us via email. 

Financial & Non-financial Disclosures

Speaker Disclosure

Sue does not earn any income from programs discussed in the presentation. She is receiving an honorarium for this presentation.

Sponsor Disclosure

The OTS Collaborative Community is a product of the OT Schoolhouse.

Content Disclosure

This learning event does not focus exclusively on any specific product or service.

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Schoolhouse Education, LLC is proud to be an AOTA Approved Provider of Professional Development

AOTA-Approval for this Professional Development Opportunity is in progress.  

Stay Tuned!

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Terms and Conditions


Schoolhouse Education, LLC will keep a record of your completed CE courses. When applicable, transcript services may include reporting to professional associations and/or state licensure boards. While Schoolhouse Education, LLC will make all reasonable efforts to offer CE credit for its courses, it is not responsible for state or national, or regulatory current policies or changes in CE requirements that may make courses ineligible for CE credits.

Participant Agreement

By registering for or attending any event or activity associated with the Schoolhouse Education, LLC and OT Schoolhouse, I agree to the following:

Professional Development/Information Disclaimer

The material presented in this course is not intended to represent the only or the best methods appropriate for the occupational therapy and/or medical condition or professional development issues being discussed but rather is intended to present the opinions of the presenters, which may be helpful to other health care professionals at arriving at their own conclusions and consequent application. Attendees participating in this professional development education program do so with full knowledge that they waive any claim they may have against the A-Z School-Based OT Course, Schoolhouse Education, LLC, and OT School House and its staff or representatives for reliance on any information presented during these educational activities.

Waiver of Liability Agreement

I release Schoolhouse Education, LLC, OT Schoolhouse, and its staff, presenters, and any other individuals or entities associated with this course from any and all liability connected with my participation, as well as from any liability related to changes to the schedule, events or activities. I acknowledge and agree that I am participating on my own choice and assume all risk in connection thereof and that in the event that a need for emergency medical service arises, I authorize and consent to such services being provided at my own expense.

Cancelation & Refund Policy

In the event that Schoolhouse Education, LLC must cancel the event for any reason, participants will be offered a credit toward the rescheduled event. OT Schoolhouse Collaborative subscribers may cancel their subscription at any time. 

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