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About Us

“Recess!” was a daily, nationally-distributed public radio program that produced and aired over 2,00 episodes between 2001 and 2007. The show was co-produced by the University of Florida’s Center for Children’s Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, “Classic 89.” It received support from Dorothy and Terry Smiljanich; from the Alachua County Friends of the Library; and from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School, the Office of the Provost, and the College of Journalism and Communications.

As a radio program, “Recess!” reached an estimated, potential audience of 20 million listeners in the United States. Through its on-line, audio archives it had a global audience that included China and Australia, Latin America, Western Europe, and Africa. The program has been called by one commentator “The New Yorker of Kids’ Stuff,” and it has served as the model and for other successful short programs on NPR.

Through “Recess!” we were able to offer colleagues from other departments and colleges across the University of Florida an opportunity for national exposure of their ideas in the form of program segments, commentaries, interviews, and reviews. Perhaps most importantly, “Recess!” mentored UF graduate students, working closely with several dozen students to guide them as they researched, wrote, edited, and recorded programs that aired on “Recess!” For many of these students, these audio publications were important points of distinction that helped with job searches and in securing external research funding.

This website would not have been possible without the efforts of two undergraduate students, Renee Runge and Carly Sampson, who transferred the audio from the original programs to the newest digital format. The person who made this website come alive is one of our current Coordinators for the Center, Brianna Anderson. She organized the programs, trimmed the extraneous, and placed the spotlight on this selection of the best of “Recess!” We hope that you enjoy sampling this collection of our programs.

John Cech

Director, Center for Children’s Literature and Culture