Schools making recess a priority for kids in WNY

Posted at 6:07 PM, Sep 13, 2016

School districts across Western New York are making recess during school for kids a priority.

They are realizing the importance of this physical and social activity. Research shows that recess could make all the difference in how well students perform in the classroom. In Ken-Ton, leaders have made it mandatory this year for all five elementary schools to have 20 minutes of recess each school day.

"Recess is an opportunity for kids to either be in or out of the classroom. It helps them with motor skills and gives them time to unwind so that when they are in the classroom they can focus on their academics," Lindbergh Elementary Principal, Mike Muscarella said.

According to the Children Health Network, the normal attention span for a child is three to five minutes. They say it benefits children to take a break during the day outside of lunch. It also offers a learning opportunity for teachers.

"They are able to see them engaging with other students and seeing what friendships are made so I think it provides them a lot of information as well," Clinton Street Elementary Principal, Kimberly McCartan said.

Clinton Street Elementary's Physical Education Teacher, Becky Pucci said recess can help students with communication, sharing, and problem solving skills.

"They are asked to sit and be quiet for so much of the day and just to be able to get up and move around at certain times of the day I think is very important and I think it's better for learning as well," Pucci said.

Clinton Street Elementary in West Seneca has what's called a "peaceful playground." It's for kids who wants to play different games, many requiring conflict resolution.

"Not every kid likes to go climb. Not every kid can climb or go down the slides. So, some kids can rather play ball games. What's recess right? Go out and have fun," Pucci said.