Should Recess be Mandatory?

Your child could soon be spending more time on the playground.

Several state lawmakers are trying to make recess mandatory.

They want all Texas elementary students to spend at least twenty minutes outside everyday, where they say there's more at work than just child's play.

It's 1:00 in the afternoon at Reeves-Hinger Elementary in Canyon and for these kids, recess couldn't come soon enough and for many, it's not long enough.

"How many hours would you like to spend playing out here? Three. How long do you think you should spend playing out here everyday? Twenty minutes."

She's on the same page with some state lawmakers, who say along with twenty minutes of recess every day, kids should partake in 135 minutes of PE every week, all in hopes of helping them get some exercise and develop essential social skills they can't learn from a textbook.

Reeves-Hinger 4th grade teacher Jennifer Brown says, "Of course the students think it's imperative."

The students, no doubt, have fun out there. "Playing basketball with my friends, playing outside and talking with my friends."

Naysayers claim increasing recess decreases success in the classroom. But the school officials we spoke with at Reeves-Hinger beg to differ and they have the TAKS test scores to prove it.

Brown says, "They get restless. They can't sit still when they can't get out here and get some of their energy taken care of."

Principal Janet Laughter says, "It has not harmed us at all. We've done it for as long as I've been here and we're showing gains, not losses. So I think it's very workable. I don't think it will take away from the academics. Actually I think it will enhance the academics."

Most of the school districts in our area have between 10 and 20 minutes of recess every day.

If you would like to contact your legislator about this issue, you can do that by clicking on this link: