Free-Time in School
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Serves as a “brain break,” so kids are focused and ready to learn when they begin a lesson
Teaches responsibility (not every minute of the child’s day is planned out for him)
Encourages development of social and communication skills
Supports students’ physical healthy and motor skill development.
It helps us to be more active.
It also is a great way to let our brain rest.
In addition to the mental pause, recess appears to be the most effective way to keep kids active. A study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that 42 percent of the nation's schoolchildren get most of their total daily exercise at recess -- more than do so in P.E. or after-school programs. For sure, in light of America's childhood-obesity problem (17 percent of kids between 2 and 19 are obese), participating in recess is one of the few inexpensive, readily available opportunities we have to get kids moving.
What's more, children who don't get recess miss out on valuable life lessons, according to Susan Ohanian, an education advocate and author of What Happened to Recess and Why Are Our Children Struggling in Kindergarten? "Anybody who knows anything about children -- particularly little kids -- knows that they learn so much on the playground: how to get along, negotiate, make and follow each other's rules, talk to one another, and fall down and get back up again," says Ohanian, who, in addition to being an instructor at an alternative high school in Troy, NY, has taught third, seventh, and eighth grade in public schools there. "But for kids these days, lunch is too short, they don't get a chance to talk to anybody, sometimes they can't even get a drink or go to the bathroom -- civilized things adults take for granted. It's barbaric."
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