The American Academy of Pediatrics released a policy statement on the critical role of recess in schools, saying “Recess serves as a necessary break from the rigors of concentrated, academic challenges in the classroom. But equally important is the fact that safe and well-supervised recess offers cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits that may not be fully appreciated when a decision is made to diminish it.”
Recess is a necessary part of our children’s school day, but unfortunately this can be forgotten in the journey to provide academic achievement. It is wonderful to have the official recommendation of doctors on our side while we work to make recess a highly valued part of the school day.
And we’re so happy to see many major news sources pick up this story and to hear the world talking about the value of recess.
Here are the five key points the pediatricians of the AAP specifically recommend to parents, teachers, school administrators, and policy makers:
Recess should be held daily and consider a child’s time. It should not be taken away as punishment or for academic reasons.
Recess breaks should be provided in regular intervals to allow children time to decompress and prepare for the next set of lessons.
Recess compliments, but should never replace physical education.
Unlike sedentary school lessons, recess is active and can contribute to the daily recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity.
Children build friendships during recess and develop lifelong skills, including communication, negotiation, cooperation, sharing, problem solving, and coping.
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