Dallas school board trustee Dan Micciche proposed mandatory recess at least once daily for at least 20 minutes for all pre-K through fifth grade students. The Dallas Morning News enthusiastically endorsed his proposal.
It’s not just Micciche’s arguments — or our own fond memories of a break from the classroom — that persuade us. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the national Centers for Disease Control are two of many research groups eager to share their documentation supporting how recess improves children’s overall well being and — when the kids return to their seats — enhances learning and focus.
Yet Dallas, not unlike districts nationwide, has allowed academic pressures to trump free time on some campuses. Not only do some schools fail to allot 20 minutes or more of daily recess, which the national pediatrics group recommends, some also withhold it as a punishment for individuals or entire classes.
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