Letters to the EditorNews

Kids Need Recess at School

As a longtime Clarke County school teacher who is now retired, I was encouraged to learn about Susan Lane’s findings concerning recess in CCSD schools. (“Athens Parent Sees Ties Between Recess Time and Test Scores,” Mar. 6.)  

For years, I have been concerned about the limitations placed upon time for recess given as justification for increasing instructional time. In addition, the practice of using recess as a reward for or punishment of a child goes against modern educational practice and current knowledge of brain development.

Lane’s research is important and hopefully will support changes made in current practices. It was disappointing, however, to learn that these changes will not be implemented until fall 2020. Common sense should reign here, and administrators and teachers should be enabled to immediately alter current bad practice by adjusting recess schedules based upon the American Academy of Pediatrics statement of the importance of unstructured play.  

Groups like Playworks may be a positive development on the whole, but I question why $100,000 of the CCSD budget is spent on coaches to promote structured play in place of simply giving children more time for free play. Many children in the CCSD schools spend a very long and tiring structured day, which includes after-school program time. These children need much more time for free play, rest and relaxation from their already overly-scheduled lives.