Recess is unpredictable. Some days you have outdoor recess, some days you might be stuck indoors. Some days children have twenty minutes to play, other days only ten minutes after conflicts occur in the lunchroom. Some days every student plays at recess, but other days the majority stand on the sidelines.
Playworks’ mission is to improve the health and well-being of children by increasing opportunities for physical activity and safe, healthy play. We have proven that recess is an untapped opportunity to accomplish this goal. The more recess the better!
And now, Massachusetts has an opportunity to make recess more predictable—at least the amount of recess time during the school day. Bill H.235 “An Act to Mandate Recess for Elementary School Children” is a state law requiring that all K-5 students receive at least twenty consecutive minutes of supervised, safe, and unstructured free-play recess daily.
According to a 2016 report released by SHAPE America (The Society of Health and Physical Educators), only eight states have policies requiring daily recess in schools.
Playworks is serious about play. We help schools across the country create recess environments where kids feel included, stay active, and build valuable social and emotional skills. We have proven that safe, healthy play at recess can increase vigorous physical activity, decrease bullying, and recover valuable instructional time.
We are not in the business of advocacy; however, we do love that this bill raises awareness about the importance of recess. It’s time we reimagine recess as a crucial part of the school day.
If you’re a fan of recess, and feel inclined, please consider calling your state representative and tell them why you love recess.
Follow these steps:
- Find out who your state representative is here.
- Call their office.
- Speak with an aid or leave a message in which you:
- State your name and address
- Mention that you are calling about Bill H.235 (the recess bill)
- Explain why you love recess
- Ask them to speak up on behalf of the bill
One phone call. It’s that simple.
We look forward to increasing awareness around the importance of recess and ensuring children in Massachusetts have the opportunity to play every day.