Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Children's Right to Recess

Children need to play," according to Dr. Melinda Bossenmeyer, Peaceful Playgrounds creator. "Play is children's work. We expect them to sit still, be attentive and learn in the classroom. But it's really important they have an opportunity to socialize with their friends, play kickball, jump rope, feel the breeze, enjoy the sun and learn how to negotiate social situations. They need time to have fun."

According to a 2006 report from the National Center for Education Statistics, 7 to 13 percent of U.S. elementary school kids never have recess.

That means there's no recess for 4,620 to 8,580 elementary schools -- serving 2.3 million to 4.3 million children in grades 1 through 5.

Recess not only allows pupils to develop social skills outside the classroom, but some of those combating childhood obesity also are fighting for recess.

Bossenmeyer's researched, " What goes wrong on a typical playground and came up with 5 solutions," to these research based recess problems. They are: 1. children need skills for problem solving, 2. consistent game rules, 3. enough equipment (balls, ropes, etc.) 4. schoolwide expectations for student behavior, and 5. more games and activity markings on the playground. For more information on the benefits of this award winning program called Peaceful Playgrounds visit: www.peacefulplaygrounds.com