Recess advocates include the American Association for the Child’s Right to Play, the National Association for Sport and Physical Association, even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Besides the opportunity to get exercise, proponents say, recess offers social and emotional benefits as children dream up ideas and resolve conflicts during play.
The American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) position paper on “The Crucial Role of Recess,” describing the numerous benefits recess provides for children. The AAP recommends that all children partake in daily, supervised recess (AAP, 2013). Access to recess is important for all children, not only those who are typically developing but also those with special needs such as IDD. Minimizing or eliminating recess may be counterproductive to academic achievement, as a growing body of evidence suggests that recess promotes not only physical health and social development but also cognitive performance. Although recess and physical education both promote activity and a healthy lifestyle, it is only supervised but unstructured recess that offers children the opportunity to actually play creatively.
There is consensus about the need for regularly scheduled recess based on national guidelines, even though the length of the recess period has not been firmly established. In schools, the length specified for recess ranges widely, from 20 to 60 minutes per day. In other countries, such as Japan, primary school-aged children have a 10- to 15-minute break every hour, and this is thought to reflect the fact that attention spans begin to wane after 40 to 50 minutes of intense instruction.
The Brookline Parents Organization (BPO) is inviting all parents who want to discuss the food policies at our schools to attend a meeting on May 17, 2017, from 8:30 am-9:30 am at the Pierce School Cafeteria. The purpose of the meeting is to bring together parents and other stakeholders to discuss wellness issues related to food in our schools, including food safety, nutrition concerns, costs, and other related matters.