Make Recess a Reality in Rhode Island: Pass Recess Legislation this Session

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Despite numerous well-documented benefits, recess policies across the state vary by age, grade, school, and district.  This means that currently, there is no bare minimum standard for our children when it comes to free play recess. 

Parents have been working hard to ensure our youngest students get free play recess every day.  We asked the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education to create policy to ensure this will happen and they said no.  RIDE has been clear that it will not create a policy to make sure kids are playing every day without the risk of losing it for punishment.

With the pressure our children have to achieve academically, we need to ensure that they are getting the bare minimum recommended by Rhode Island KidsCount, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control: twenty minutes every day of free play recess in grades K-5 without the risk of losing it for punishment.

Recess is an equity issue.  National studies have shown that minorities and children in poverty are more likely to have recess taken away, and are less likely to have adequate free play time than their white and middle class counterparts.

A recent survey conducted by the group Recess for Rhode Island, revealed that:

  • 70 percent of schools in Rhode Island deny recess as a disciplinary strategy;
  • 72 percent of schools in Rhode Island provide only 10-20 minutes of recess per day; and, perhaps most troubling,
  • 10 percent of Rhode Island students get less than 10 minutes of recess per day.

Recess has a positive impact on test scores, retention and class room attention

Teachers have many alternatives to taking away recess to use as punishment. Children with ADHD and other developmental challenges are often the ones who need it most and often have it taken away as punishment. 

We need our legislators to act now to ensure children are getting adequate free play time that cannot be taken away as punishment.  Please pass House Bill H7644  and Senate Bill S2669 this legislative session to ensure our youngest learners get the bare minimum free play time they need every day. Parents and children are counting on you.  

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Tracy Ramos needs your help with “Governor Raimondo: Make Recess a Reality in RI - Sign the Recess Legislation passed by the GA this Session”. Join Tracy and 802 supporters today.