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Americans Want Schools to Take Recess Seriously
Date:12/10/2008

-- An overwhelming majority of Americans believe that recess serves many important functions for both students and teachers. For example, 91 percent believe that having a break with physical activity helps children stay focused and learn in the classroom.

-- Nine in 10 agree that schools should be responsible for ensuring that children partake in a healthy amount of physical activity during the school day.

-- Over 82 percent of Midwesterners believe children are getting less than enough physical play time on a daily basis, compared to 76 percent of the rest of the country.

-- Southerners are particularly concerned about cuts to recess, which is not surprising given that schools in that region are most likely to scale back or eliminate recess compared to other U.S. regions.

-- The Northeast and Midwest are most unhappy with recent bans in schoolyard games such as tag and dodgeball -- three out of four adults in each region disagree with these changes.

"Americans intuitively understand that a well-managed recess can have a positive impact on many important parts of a child's life by making physical activity fun and helping kids learn better," said Jill Vialet, president of Sports4Kids. "After 13 years on America's playgrounds, we see firsthand the positive impact an inclusive recess has on individual children who may not otherwise have a safe place to play, as well on the overall school climate. The benefit is tremendous."

This survey of American attitudes toward school playtime follows "Recess Rules," a 2007 report issued by the Foundation that named recess as the single most effective -- yet the most underfunded -- strategy for increasing physical activity among children.

The new findings come at a time when many schools and school districts are making the difficult choice of cutting back on recess to make more time for standardized test
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SOURCE The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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