“Change is hard when numbers don’t tell the story – emotions do.” – Dr. Debbie Rhea


LiiNK students in Chattanooga, Oklahoma, won’t let the mud stop them from finding ways to play. What started as hay bales, horses, and trees, developed into a large farm with cows, horses, and a beautiful garden! This is creativity at work.

Year 1 – Private

Year 2 – Private

Year 1 – Public (3rd Year Overall)

Psychological benefits of recess vs brain breaks
Measures used to collect data

Texas Department of State Health Services Webinars

Webinar 1 – PE & Recess as a Platform for Learning

Webinar 2 – Implementation Strategies for Daily PE and Recess

Webinar 3  – Dedicated Recess and PE are Making a Difference

Webinar 4 – Recess’ Roots in Creating a Foundation for Academic Success

Webinar 5 – Knocking Down Barriers for Outdoor School Physical Activity


LiiNK Publications

Rhea, D.J., & Bauml, M. (2018). An Innovative Whole Child Approach to Learning: The LiiNK Project®. Childhood Education, 94:2, 56-63, DOI: 10.1080/00094056.2018.1451691

Rhea, D.J., & Rivchun, A.P. (February, 2018). The LiiNK Project®: Year 2. Effects of Multiple Recesses and Character Curriculum on Classroom Behaviors and Listening Skills. Frontiers in Education.

Rhea, D.J., Rivchun, A., & Clark, L. (submitted, July 2017). The LiiNK Project® Intervention in K and 1 Public School Children: Effects of unstructured play breaks and character development on classroom behaviors. Journal of School Health.

Lund, E., Brimo, D., Rhea, D., & Rivchun, A. (2017). The effect of multiple recesses on listening effort: A preliminary study. Journal of Pediatric, Educational, & Rehabilitative Audiology.

Rhea, D.J., Rivchun, A., & Clark, L. (In press, scheduled spring 2018). LiiNK Project: Case Study. Instructional Leadership in the Content Areas: Case Studies for Curriculum and Instruction. Routledge/University Council for Educational Administration.

Clark, L., & Rhea, D. (May, 2017). The LiiNK Project®: Comparisons of Recess, Physical Activity, and Positive Emotional States in Grade K–2 Children. International Journal of Child Health & Nutrition, 6, 54-61https://doi.org/10.6000/1929-4247.2017.06.02.1

Rhea, D. J. (Sep., 2016). Imagine a child as a tree: Fertilize with unstructured, outdoor play, and character development. Camping Magazine, 36-40. http://liinkproject.tcu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/RheaAmericanCampAssociationImagineachildasatreeSept.pdf

Rhea, D.J., & Nigaglioni, I. (Feb., 2016). Outdoor Playing = Outdoor Learning. Educational Facility Planner Journal.

Rhea, D.J. (Jan., 2016).  Recess: The forgotten classroom. Instructional Leader Journal, 29 (1), 1-4.

Rhea, D.J., Rivchun, A.P., & Pennings, J. (Summer, 2016). The Liink Project: Implementation of a Recess and Character Development Pilot Study with Grades K & 1 Children. Texas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, & Dance Journal (TAHPERD).

Rhea, D.J. (Sep., 2015). Why young kids need less class time — and more play time — at school. Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/08/21/why-young-kids-need-less-class-time-and-more-play-time-at-school/

Rhea, D.J. (April, 2014). What Finland Knows and TVS Implements: Liink Project. TVS Trojan Voice. http://faculty.trinityvalleyschool.org/sduncan/TrojanVoiceSpring2014/.

Rhea, D.J. (Feb., 2014).  More Play, Better Education. Education Week,  http://www.edweek.org * http://www.TopSchoolJobs.org.


LiiNK Presentations