Magazine article Newsweek

Reading, Writing, Recess: Is Jump-Rope the Answer to the Obesity Epidemic?

Magazine article Newsweek

Reading, Writing, Recess: Is Jump-Rope the Answer to the Obesity Epidemic?

Article excerpt

Byline: Peg Tyre

Shortly after Rebecca Lamphere bought her new house in Virginia Beach, Va., she began to notice that it was quiet--too quiet. Lamphere had expected to hear the shouts of children at recess from the Parkway Elementary School next door. Instead she learned that at Parkway, recess was a thing of the past. Lamphere was troubled. "We aren't raising computers," she says. "These are living, breathing bodies." Lamphere began lobbying her school board and local officials. Though her own daughter attends parochial school, three years ago she got recess restored to Parkway--and to every elementary school in the state.

Now other parents, physicians and educators around the country are taking up Lamphere's campaign. In the last five years, as pressure to show early academic achievement has mounted, experts estimate that nearly 20 percent of the nation's elementary schools have dropped recess in favor of extra classroom time. But as concerns about childhood obesity grow, activists are demanding that schools bring recess back--providing kids with a minimum of 15 minutes of free play each day. Two years ago Michigan followed Virginia's lead and mandated daily recess. Similar measures are now pending in Georgia and Connecticut. Activists in Florida, Texas, Mississippi, California and Pennsylvania are lobbying hard to get their kids one small physical break. Most parents, says Lori Laughrey, a pro-recess advocate from Riverview, Fla., simply assume that, like the peanut-butter sandwich and the fire drill, recess is an immutable part of the elementary-school day and don't think to ask schools about it. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.