In 2007, state legislation or state resolutions for recess was enacted in Oklahoma and Arkansas, and recess legislation or resolutions were considered in Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. In all, 15 states now have written policies either recommending or mandating daily recess. The movement appears to be growing with additional states reviewing resolutions or policies each year.
Recess increases focus. Dr. Olga Jarrett, with her colleagues at Georgia State University’s Department of Early Childhood Education, approached an urban school district that had a no-recess policy. They received permission for two fourth-grade classes to have recess once a week so they could observe the children’s behavior on recess and non-recess days. Their results showed that the 43 children became more on-task and less fidgety on days when they had recess. Sixty percent of the children, including five with attention deficit disorder, worked more and/or fidgeted less on recess days.
G−J, Contiguous axial post-myelogram CT images obtained at the L2–L3 level show a small canal and slight lateral recess distortion bilaterally (G, arrows). One observer graded this level as small lateral recesses but no root compression (grade 1), and the other observer graded this as root compressive (grade 2).
Young children today have less unstructured time than ever before. Even play time outside of school is often scheduled with play dates, lessons and/or sports teams. Attendance in all of the previously stated activities are organized and directly supervised by adults. Recess is one of the few remaining opportunities in which children can select a friend out of a playground full of peers with the option of “trying out both a variety of playmates and a variety of game choices.”