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Should NH require schools to give a minimum 20 minutes of recess time to children in grades K-5?

Dec 23, 2015

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

State education rules encourage but do not require schools to include recess in their schedules. However, some have raised concerns that increased pressure to meet academic standards has been leading schools to eliminate or reduce recess periods in order to give students more time in the classroom. This has led states such as Hawaii and Missouri to guarantee recess time for children in younger grades.

Supporters of mandating recess point to studies showing the importance of exercise for children especially with childhood obesity continuing to rise. The unstructured play time recess provides has also been linked to increased focus, memory and attention upon return to the classroom, as well as other social and cognitive benefits.

Opponents counter that schools are in the best position to know the appropriate balance between recess and classroom time, and should retain control over setting policy. They note that recess can cost schools for additional supervisory personnel and express concerns over bullying or the security of young children in open outdoor areas.

UPDATE: Read our Citizen Voices℠ report and find out where New Hampshire stands on this issue.

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