Kindergarteners and First Graders Get Recess 4 Times a Day at Texas School


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Eagle Mountain Elementary School, in Ft. Worth, TX (34.1% Latino), is tripling their time for recess, from 20 minutes to one hour, during the 2015-2016 school year as part of a project to model the Finnish school system.

The project’s designer is Texas Christian University kinesiologist Debbie Rhea. She recognized that not only do Finnish students consistently score at or near the top in international education rankings, but that Finnish students also get more time for recess than American kids. Recess will be four times a day for 15-minutes.

Teachers were concerned about losing classroom time at first, but see that kids are fidgeting less, more focused, and learning more.

“If you want a child to be attentive and stay on task, and also if you want them to encode the information you’re giving them in their memory, you’ve got to give them regular breaks,” says Ohio State University pediatrician Bob Murray according to one source.

Research suggests that kids with more time for physical activity-structured and unstructured-have fewer behavioral episodes, are physically, healthier, and are socially and emotionally more developed. However, many Latino schools don’t provide as much time for PE and recess and many Latino neighborhoods lack safe, accessible places for kids to play.

In order to ensure that Latino kids are attentive and physically healthy, it is important for schools to provide time for recess and physical activity.

Read more about this healthy change here.

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of Latino parents support public funding for afterschool programs

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