LOS ANGELES, CA - Raise your hand - who remembers recess? Whether you dreaded the playground or it was your favorite "subject" - the midday break from school has become a pretty retro idea. Now, elementary schools are more focused than ever on academics and testing, leaving little time to let kids just play.
But now, thanks to the LiiNK ("Let's inspire innovation 'n kids") Project, recess is back in a big way: four times a day! The program - which is designed to improve health, teach social responsibility and enhance creativity- was tested in four schools in Texas during the last school year. This year it's spreading to 14 schools in Texas and Oklahoma.
You won't have to convince many 2nd graders that recess is important. And they'd have the American Academy of Pediatrics backing them up. The group agrees that playtime is "crucial."
The results have been very promising. Academically, math and reading skills improved. After each of the 15 minute breaks, students settled down faster, were more focused on their work - because they knew another recess was coming, and there were fewer behavioral problems.
With effects like that, we'd like to see the program spread to other schools, and maybe even to our own workplaces.