2018-06-21 / Editorial

Kids put lot of work into recess effort

A group of Lawn fifth-grade students taught us all a valuable lesson in perseverance this spring by banding together to increase the amount of recess time they receive.

A committee of students met twice a week after school to discuss the after-lunch break, which they wanted to see increased from about 10 minutes to 20. They did plenty of research not only on their own amount of recess time, but how public schools in Germany have posted higher academic grades since extending their recess time to at least 15 minutes.

It’s an impressive achievement by these students to get organized and rally around a cause dear to them.

While there is a state law mandating at least 20 consecutive minutes of recess, Lawn is not covered by it since it only affects elementary schools that teach grades 1-5, not middle schools like Lawn that have fifth-graders.

After discussing their ideas with principal Nate Edmunds, they eventually pitched their idea to the school committee, which decided last week it was up to Edmunds to try and find the extra time, if he wanted.

He should.

This is a national issue in which numerous schools are discussing the benefits of additional consecutive minutes of playtime for younger students. Besides the increased benefit of physical activity in a nation where childhood obesity still is a major problem, it also allows children greater access to organized activities and team sports, both of which also engage them socially. The Lawn students mentioned their preference for basketball and four square.

The extra playtime especially would be beneficial to those students who do not partake in any after-school sports as they may not have any other avenue to participate in a team-based activity.

Past generations of students had more playtime built into their school day, time that has been stripped out as more and more mandated standardized tests have become the norm.

We’re sure Edmunds can find the extra few minutes for playtime without disrupting any of the quality education Lawn’s students currently receive. He and the district owe it to these hardworking industrious students who spent so much time on an issue they’re passionate about. If we fail to recognize and reward that effort, what type of lessons are we really teaching our children?

Class dismissed.

Return to top