Recess an important aspect of well-being

Re: Parents unhappy with rescheduled elementary recess, Oct. 22.

To the Editor,

Re: Parents unhappy with rescheduled elementary recess, Oct. 22.

Starting Oct. 31, School District 68 will be moving recess to the end of the elementary school day. This left me wondering about the nature and purpose of recess.

As adults, recess is a period of time away from the task at hand: an interlude, a change of pace.

It is a time to remove oneself from the tedium of your desk to stretch, walk around, get a cup of coffee, or socialize with a colleague. It is unstructured, and it is fun.

As a person who now works in an office environment which requires a high degree of concentration for significant periods of time, I do need time during the work day in which I can change the pace. It helps me to refocus and get through the day, while avoiding fatigue and burnout.

Ask any adult – we need recess.

With the removal of recess from our elementary schools, we are about to witness children as young as four years old no longer able to engage in an unstructured and fun interlude.

Elementary students will now be expected to engage in a structured environment for as long as three hours in the morning, take a 30-minute lunch break and work for a further two hours.

Research has demonstrated that regular recess for children is not only good for their academic performance, but also for their social development and classroom behaviour.

When I, like many adults, reminisce on my schooling, I vividly recall my time on the playground. It was a time of play, exploration and fun.

I continue to incorporate the idea of recess into my adult life.

If we find recess to be a necessary component of our daily mental and physical well-being, shouldn’t we afford children that same opportunity?

Justin Green

NDTA first vice-president