The American Academy of Pediactrics addresses the importance of recess in schools.
The recent trend has been reducing or eliminating recess in schools across the nation. Some school districts, including districts in Rhode Island, use the threat of taking away recess when disciplining students.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a policy statement on the crucial role of recess in schools. They report that it is a necessary break from the rigors of academics. They report that recess should never be used for discipline reasons. The authors of the policy statement stated that the AAP believes that recess is a crucial and necessary component of a child's development.
The statement cites research which points to the many benefits of recess. It is not just about the physical activity, but the increase in cognitive, attention and the social and emotional development.
Local parents and advocates know that play and recess are important. The Local Advisory Committee for Special Education in Westerly began advocating in September to bring in structured play during recess to help teach special needs children how to play with their peers.
The AAP statement concluded that recess is crucial. Recess should be the child's personal time. It should be unstructured time to allow the child to mentally decompress. This time should never be used as leverage against a child. Recess time should be in addition to physical education classes and not as a replacement to.