Sunday, November 29, 2015

N.J. recess bill: Go and play, every day

N.J. recess bill: Go and play, every day:

N.J. recess bill: Go and play, every day

Want to know the deal on recess? Go to the experts.

"We can exercise!" said Collette Guerin, one in a gaggle of second graders rocking the playground last week at Zane North Elementary School in Collingswood.
"You can use up your energy so you're calmer," chimed in classmate Celia Titcombe.
Lilly Stout spoke for all:
"It's so fun!"
In time, schoolchildren all over New Jersey may join in that chorus.
A bipartisan-backed bill recently cleared the state Assembly's Education Committee that would require school districts to provide a daily recess period for students in kindergarten through the fifth grade.
The recess would have to be at least 20 minutes long and held outdoors, if possible.
"In addition to giving children time to recharge during the school day, recess allows students to develop their social skills and get some physical activity," said Assemblyman Joseph A. Lagano (D., Bergen/Passaic), one of the bill's primary sponsors.
"With more and more young people at risk for illnesses due to inactivity," Lagano said, "it's critical for recess to be part of their routine starting at an early age."
According to data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 17 percent of youth in the United States were obese during the period from 2011 to 2014. That represents an increase from nearly 14 percent of youth in 1999-2000.
The rate of obese adults has risen as well, to more than a third.
If the bill becomes law, New Jersey would be one of a relatively small number of states requiring recess.
According to a 2012 report of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education and the American Heart Association, only about nine other states mandate recess. Among those are Hawaii, North Dakota, and Virginia.
The sport and physical education association recommends that all elementary students should be given at least one daily period of recess lasting a minimum of 20 minutes.
A majority of states require physical education in their public schools. However, only a few, including New Jersey, require the nationally recommended 150 minutes a week of physical education for elementary students, according to the 2012 report.
A number of federal sources including the Department of Health and Human Services advise that children and adolescents do at least 60 minutes of physical

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