When their young kids came home squirming and complaining about a lack of school recess time, a pair of Florida moms set out on a mission to ensure that every elementary school in their state allowed unstructured play time.
In this Education Week video, which is part of our new series called Parent Changemakers, Angela Browning and Amy Narvaez discuss their successful three-year effort to convince lawmakers to pass a statewide recess mandate.
While things like test scores and classroom work are important, the mothers believe children need time to play and build relationships during the school day.
“For us, it was really changing the conversation from what adults want to what kids need,” Browning said.
The push to protect school recess time is taking place in other states and districts.
In addition to mandated play time, schools around the country have limited or eliminated teachers’ ability to take away a student’s recess time as a form of discipline, their efforts bolstered by district policies and state laws that place renewed emphasis on physical activity and by increased public involvement in the creation of district wellness policies.
Related reading about school recess.
- Withholding Recess as a Punishment Declines
- Study Finds Academic Benefits for Children’s Physical Activities
- New Reports Grade Schools on Reading, Writing, and Recess
A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.