Governor John Hickenlooper declares October 5th Colorado Recess Day

We’ve always thought of the state of Colorado as a pretty cool place to be and it recently became even cooler after Governor John Hickenlooper took a stance to improve health for children in his state; he declared October 5th ‘Colorado Recess Day.’

In his September 2011 proclamation, Governor Hickenlooper makes official declaration of some pretty important truths about the impact of play on kids health and wellness. Among them (can you hear our hearts being warmed?):
  • Play is a crucial factor in the overall well-being of children. (Agree!)
  • Children who play are healthier and suffer less obesity and obesity-related health problems. (Agree!)
  • Children who play learn the social skills that help them become happy and well-adjusted adults. (Agree!)
The Governor also acknowledges that recess is being shortened or removed from many schools and thus fewer children are spending time being healthy in the outdoors-a sad truth.
You, too, can help improve health for children in your community, be in school, neighborhood, city or state. Follow these four easy steps to declare your own Recess Day and celebrate the value of play in your community.
  1. Gather local supporters. Parents, school officials, fitness clubs, non-profits, professional athletes… supporters of health and wellness are all around you. Send emails, make phone calls, attend meetings. Collect community members who support a proclamation to celebrate play for a day! And ask them to reach out to their networks.
  2. Draft the text of your proclamation. Determine what you want to say about play and when and how you will celebrate it. Attach a cover letter explaining your ‘Recess Day’.
  3. Research local officials in your community, especially those who have supported issues involving children, education or health. It’s not necessary to get a governmental official to declare Recess Day, but it sure helps get the word out and who wouldn’t want that ‘stamp of approval’! So do your research. Find one that might support your mission and reach out to their staff.
  4. Schedule a meeting with the government official to discuss the issue and it’s significance to the community. Be prepared to answer questions such as, “How many constituents might this affect?” and “Is there a media event to support it?” You may need to make necessary changes to the proclamation based on feedback. After submitting, follow-up frequently to on check the status and offer to provide additional information.
  5. Plan an event to promote the Recess Day. You’ll need a great location, your local supporters on board and media. Check out how Colorado will be celebrating tomorrow!

Let us know how you fare … and in the meantime, we’ll start working on a proclamation to improve the health of children on our home state of California!

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