Toolkit helps school recess provide physical, cognitive, social, benefits
MelissaJenco, News Content Editor
Health experts are helping schools create more beneficial recess programs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Society of Health and Physical
Educators (SHAPE America) released two guidance documents today that can be used by school administrators, teachers and parents interested
in reshaping recess.
“Daily recess, monitored by well-trained staff or volunteers, can optimize a child’s
social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development,” SHAPE America CEO E. Paul
Roetert, Ph.D., said in a news release. “Recess contributes to the recommended 60
minutes of daily physical activity for students and helps them apply the knowledge
and skills they learn in an effective health and physical education program.
Strategies for Recess in Schools includes 19 evidence-based recommendations on making leadership decisions, communicating
behavioral and safety expectations, creating a supportive environment, engaging the
school community and gathering information. The guidance applies to both elementary
and secondary schools.
The second document, Recess Planning in Schools: A Guide to Putting Strategies for Recess Into Practice, provides additional advice on implementing these recommendations.
“Recess serves as a necessary break from the rigors of concentrated, academic challenges
in the classroom,” according to the policy from the AAP Council on School Health.
“But equally important is the fact that safe and well-supervised recess offers cognitive,
social, emotional, and physical benefits.”