Friday, June 18, 2010

Recess Disparities In Seattle Schools


Educators and neuroscientists are beginning to understand the importance of recess. Years ago kids went to recess as it was good for their health to get outside, experience the fresh air and get a break from sitting inside classrooms for extended periods of time. Today we are beginning to recognize the many other benefits of recess as well.


Sutapa Ray, a neuroscientist with the Bellevue children's software company Neuropath Learning identies many additional benefits including the finding that exercise increases blood flow to the brain and builds new neurons. That helps the brain make connections. Ray says it's good for kids to switch from directed attention in the classroom to the indirect attention on the playground, where they can take in the sound of birds or the wind.

Ray: "When you go back to your classroom then your directed attention comes back into place and it gets the rest that it needs. Even a 10–minute recess, a 15–minute recess is good for the brain that way."

However, studies show that children at Seattle's high–poverty schools tend to get the least recess. KUOW's Ann Dornfeld reports on this trend, and what it means for kids.

Recess Disparities in Settle Schools.


Peaceful Playgrounds-A panel of experts representing 27 national organizations and government agencies gave the Peaceful Playgrounds Physical Activity Program their highest rating of excellent! Their Best in Class Award noted the program brought about "whole school change."