A recent study conducted by Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York reported that the growing problem of childhood obesity needs to be addressed by more activity, especially at school where children spend so much of their day.
Many schools have done away with recess for a variety of reasons along with cut backs of physical education programs. Believe it or not, children probably have more of a chance to be physically active while at school compared to home. At home kids are in front of a screen (tv, computer, video games) more than they are in front of a pitcher with a baseball.
How did this happen?
Today many children get less free time and fewer physical outlets at school "because many school districts responded to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 by reducing time committed to recess, the creative arts, and even physical education in an effort to focus on reading and mathematics."
In addition, large urban area schools face the most cuts, and the study revealed that "children not getting recess were more likely to be black, from poor families."
The achievement gap will not be narrowed by doing away with recess and P.E. as some NCLB proponents would like us to believe.
Does your child's school still have recess? If not, fight for it!
For more information about the value of play and recess check this out.