A recent gallop poll shows that principals support recess and feel it improves learning, concentration, and childrens' ability to focus on academics. The study conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Playworks comes at a time that many districts are cutting recess and physical education programs due to wide spread school financial budget deficits.
The poll indicated:
1. 80 percent of school principals said they've seen proof within their schools that recess improves learning.
2. Sixty percent of the principals surveyed say that following a 30-minute recess students listen better and are more focused in class.
And according to Dr. Jane Lowe at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, there are other reasons kids are being denied recess.
"The most surprising finding of this survey is that schools actually still use recess as a punishment so that if children are misbehaving, recess is often the one thing they take away from them," she said. Another Peaceful Playgrounds Resource is our featured article on 60 Alternatives to Withholding Recess.
Support materials on the topic of recess including the "Right to Recess Toolkit" can be downloaded from the Peaceful Playgrounds Website.
Despite mounting evidence that kids need an outlet to blow off steam, learn to interact with others and get the exercise they need, nearly 40 percent of American elementary schools have either eliminated or are considering eliminating recess.