Let Them Play: Why Recess Is Important

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Kids are getting played when it comes to taking a break at school. Yes, they're there to learn reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic - but what about that fourth "R," recess? Many schools are doing away with kids' sole opportunity to give their brains a break during the day in favor of squeezing in as much academics as possible, and that's not a good thing. For one thing, most kids can stay focused for a maximum of a half an hour before they need a diversion. Lunch periods are getting shorter and shorter, with many kids getting just 20 minutes to scarf down lunch, use the restroom and scoot back to their desks. And for families who live in cities or unsafe areas, the school playground may be their kids' only place to get fresh air and play safely. Some schools have axed recess in favor of meeting testing goals, more prevalent since the No Child Left Behind act was passed.