Recess Advocacy Team - October 2018 Newletter

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Recess Advocacy Team

Recess helps students reach their full potential

Thank you for your interest in staying connected to the Recess Advocacy Team. Each month you can look forward to receiving our newsletter featuring information about the work we’re doing, tips, testimonials and resources for recess advocacy. 

Beginning in October 2017, a team of 15 organizations began meeting on a monthly basis to put together a survey as the first step in an effort to gather information on school recess practices throughout Allegheny County. The survey was distributed in both English and Spanish and gave us insight into practices, perceptions, and policies on recess throughout Allegheny County.
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Why did we come together as a team to be a voice for recess? 
  • Since the enactment of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) which lead to increased pressure for accountability and testing, 20% of school districts decreased recess time (Jarret, Olga S. 2013. A Research-Based Case for Recess. US Play Coalition).
  • When reviewing local wellness policies in Allegheny County we found only ONE district that uses the term ‘recess’ in their wellness policy and many policies were unclear on the guidelines for physical activity and free play during the school day.
  • We were also concerned with the number of local wellness policies that did not discourage or prohibit taking away recess as punishment.
  • We were approached by a parent in the Greater Pittsburgh region who wanted to improve the quality of play and recess at her child’s school.
  • Research shows us that recess increases children’s attention span and productivity in the classroom and improves grades, attendance, classroom behaviors, and cognitive performance. 

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