BACK TO SCHOOL: Why cutting recess periods is a bad idea

Health benefits in having recess

A doctor with UT Health Northeast says for schools that are cutting or shortening recess periods, they are taking away from a valuable educational time in a school day.

Easily some children's favorite part of the school day: Recess.

"A lot of people like to talk and play and there's swings and slides, and people like to play soccer and football," Kylie, fifth grader, said. "We just have fun."

The physical activity of recess is just the beginning of the benefits.

"It's important to develop those motor skills, develop their social skills, communication with their peers," Dr. Clem, UT Health Northeast, said.

She says it's no break from their educational day.

"Just interact with one another, they learn how to problem solve, they are able to be creative and come up with creative ways to play."

Doctor Clem says it's so beneficial, it should never be used as an incentive and should be part of a daily agenda.

"All of our names in the class are on a clip and if you're on green then you're good, but if you get moved down to yellow or orange, or red you go to the principal, but yellow and orange you don't go to recess," Hallie, second grader, said.

"Not using, or eliminating recess as a punitive consequence, so because of behavior, for things they've done wrong, it really is important for them to have that cognitive break," Dr. Clem said.

To learn about a new recess system some schools are putting in place, click here.

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