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

preparation, as outlined in a report this fall by the Center for Public Education. Cutbacks to recess tend to be concentrated in schools serving the highest number of minority students or students in poverty, making underserved children the least likely to get this valuable playtime. Consider the following recent examples:

-- In Georgia, one third of Bibb County's elementary schools -- all of which overwhelmingly serve low-income, African-American student populations -- lack recess altogether. This is in part because of a lack of playground equipment, but largely because they are struggling to meet testing goals under No Child Left Behind.

-- An elementary school in West Brookfield, Massachusetts, recently decided to replace its 15-minute outdoor recess period with an indoor working snack period. The decision prompted a group of unhappy parents to voice their concerns at a regional school committee meeting.

-- Schools in Okaloosa County, Florida, eliminated recess for a number of reasons including safety concerns and a lack of space -- much of the school playground has been taken up by portables that allow the school to provide smaller class sizes.

The good news is that many school districts and states across the country -- including Virginia, Connecticut and Wisconsin -- require schools to set aside time for recess and playtime on a regular basis, and that list is growing each year. Arizona, New Jersey, Illinois, South Carolina, and Washington are just a few of the states that have proposed legislation.

The poll was conducted by Kelton Research on behalf of Sports4Kids between September 25 and September 29. A total of 1,000 U.S. adults (ages 18 and over) were polled for this survey.

    To view the poll results, go to:
http://www.sports4kids.org/images/stories/sports4k
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SOURCE The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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