Shine Program: Making the Most of Recess

Focused Area

Youth-At-Risk in Urban Settings

Relevance to Focused Area

GSNWGL’s Recess program, Shine provides girls access to the many benefits of the Girl Scouts Leadership Experience. As proven by academic research studies on intentional recess programs, by collaborating with public schools in both urban and rural areas, girls participants gain skills associated with improved academic performance.

Primary Strand

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance to Primary Strand

By using the Search Institute's 40 Developmental Assets to create and deliver outcome-based girl-relevant and girl-engaging curriculum, Shine supports girls at-risk in developing social and emotional skills relevant to improved academic performance.

Brief Program Description

Shine is an outcome-based recess program that provides at-risk girls with the opportunity to participate in Girl Scouts as it breaks down the barrier of transportation. As Shine's success is for communities, this program models best practices in school/outreach programs to assure girl and community impact.


Learn best practices for how to create and maintain a successful school/outreach collaborative recess program. Presentation delivery will capitalize on best practices for inclusion by use of transitions, movement, fidgets etc.

To assure success and longevity of a collaborative recess program this presentation will provide attendees with:

  • Hard Copy and Dropbox link to: Examples of outcome-based curriculum for varied ages and other key templates
  • Timeline of program plan, delivery and completion and associated processes
  • Information on how to tie curriculum to the outcomes and evaluations to assure accountability for funders
  • Bilingual Program Supports and Learned Best Practices
  • Creating a Memorandum of Understanding or Collaborative Agreement
  • Parking Lot to combat most commonly experienced issues or questions


Within the state of Wisconsin, the academic achievement gap for black-white students is the worst in the nation. As a state, the graduation rates, suspension rates and performance on national tests rank the lowest (Becker A., 2016 Children Left Behind: Wisconsin’s Black White achievement gap worse in nation despite decades of efforts. Wisconsin Watch. Retrieved from: http://wisconsinwatch.org/series/children-left-behind)

As stated in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recess study, intentional recess programs help build skills necessary for improved academic performance (New Study: Does Better Recess Equal a Better School Day? 2013). Using recess in an intentional way, youth at better able to transition to instruction time with teachers needing 34 minutes less to get started. Additionally, youth who participated in recess programs, experienced increased levels of safety and the school environment is improved as programs create a 43% difference in bullying (2013).

As schools in Wisconsin continue to work to better support black students and students of color, GSNWGL works to combat the challenges faced by its most at-risk girls in Green Bay area public schools. With as many as schools receiving failing ratings by the Department of Public Instruction and the rates of poverty increasing to GSNWGL is on the forefront of creating positive change by collaborating with area public schools, afterschool programs and juvenile detention centers working with as many as 1000 at-risk girls annually.


Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Gwen Taylor serves as the Director of Innovation and Program for Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes. Her formal education is in social work and criminal justice.

As a former at-risk youth growing up in the Chicago and New York areas, Gwen struggled as a teenager and finished high school at a boarding school for at-risk teenagers. Growing up, Gwen lived with many adopted siblings and a mother and brother with physical disabilities.

Currently, she is the mother of three, a youth group leader, National Inclusion Trainer for Let’s All Play. Inclusion has become a passion project for Gwen as the mother of Isaiah who has severe non-verbal autism.

For the past nine years, Gwen has worked for GSNWGL and is the current Director of Innovation of Program. At GSNWGL she manages a staff of 25 providing services to over 3,500 at-risk girls through collaborations with schools, youth-serving agencies and juvenile detention centers. Additionally, she manages the council wide programs that serve as many as 15,000 girls annually.

Lindsey Petasek is the Reaching Out Program Manager and the Imagine the Future Grant Program Coordinator. For the past four years, she has held this position for the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes managing the council’s most urban and at risk population within the city of Green Bay. As the Program Coordinator for the Imagine the Future Grant, Lindsey has the opportunity to collaborate with the Green Bay Public School District and Boys & Girls Club of Greater Green Bay to build and develop a national pilot wrap-around program for at-risk middle school girls.

Lindsey is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and she has previously studied at both the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Marquette University. She currently holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communication: Public Relations and Spanish.

Prior to current position, she worked within the Boys & Girls Club movement for six years throughout four different locations in the state of Wisconsin. She is an alumna of Wisconsin’s AVID TOPS program having interned at the Wisconsin State Office of Justice Assistance.

Lindsey serves on the Advisory Board of the Emerging Leaders Society and is United Way Impact Council for Children and Families. As an active volunteer in the community, Lindsey volunteers with both the Teens to Work Program delivering mock job interviews and the ELITE Team providing teen leadership trainings.

Lindsey was recently married and resides in Green Bay with her husband who is employed by the Green Bay Public School District.

Start Date

10-23-2016 10:00 AM

End Date

10-23-2016 11:00 AM

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Oct 23rd, 10:00 AM Oct 23rd, 11:00 AM

Shine Program: Making the Most of Recess

Shine is an outcome-based recess program that provides at-risk girls with the opportunity to participate in Girl Scouts as it breaks down the barrier of transportation. As Shine's success is for communities, this program models best practices in school/outreach programs to assure girl and community impact.