|NUMBER 306||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||JULY 2011|
|Recess Is Back In Chicago Schools|
Now, with support from concerned parents, playtime may again be scheduled into Chicago students' school days. In May, Chicago Public Schools released a guide to implementing recess. The new guide is the result of a two-year effort by the parent-led Recess Task Force and other grassroots organizations, and is backed by the Chicago Teachers' Union president, the Mayor, the schools chief, and even Michelle Obama.
Though the new guide doesn't mandate that all schools have recess, it will require schools to form a recess committee every year to decide whether to have recess the next year. One suggestion is that teachers take a 45-minute lunch break while their students have recess. This would not cost schools anything and would give teachers a break, too.
In some schools, safety and logistical concerns remain. Recess would lengthen the school day and some schools no longer have playgrounds or equipment. But proponents agree that the benefits of recess outweigh these hurdles, and that schools should look for ways to implement a time in which children can run and play, expel energy, and renew their ability to pay attention in class. (Chicago Sun-Times, 5-07-11; www.huffingtonpost.com, 5-24-11)