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Time to Play, Time to Eat, Time to Grow
ASD60, a coalition of parents and community members across the Anchorage School District, is advocating for one 60-minute block for recess and lunch at every elementary school. Why sacrifice academic time “just” to play? There is a lot of research that states how important recess is not just to physical health, but also to learning. Schools that have increased the time for recess have seen improvements in academic performance and decreases in behavior issues. Kids with more recess can learn the same amount of material in a shorter amount of time. Expanding recess in Anchorage elementary schools to 30 minutes each day would improve classroom behaviors, academic outcomes, and physical health. Why can’t kids just eat faster? Currently, ASD places lunch and recess together in one 45 minute block. But ASD does not guarantee enough time for either or suggest best practices in scheduling recess before lunch. Research shows that children need a minimum of 20 minutes to eat after being seated. It is a travesty that ASD’s food insecure children, for whom lunch calories may matter the most, have the least amount of time to eat. More than 13,000 ASD elementary students qualify for and receive free or reduced meals. · At some schools, every student qualifies for free and reduced lunches. · Each student eating a lunch provided by ASD must wait in a line to be served. · Not all children actually have 20 minutes to eat under current ASD guidelines. Ensuring that every elementary student has 30 minutes for lunch will enable all students to get their nutritional needs met so that they can focus on their academics. Join us: ASD60 believes that the Anchorage School District can improve student learning, more effectively reach its goals, and become a nationwide educational leader by adopting evidence-based practices that expand and protect the time dedicated to recess and lunch. Click for a detailed expanded form of this petition with supporting documentation or for a PDF version to print out for hard copy signatures. For more information about ASD60, visit our website at http://ASD60.org or find us on Facebook at ASD60.