Require Recess in DeKalb County sign now

March 7, 2009
To Members of the DeKalb County Board of Education:
We, the undersigned, current and future parents and caregivers of students in the DeKalb County School System, taxpayers and residents of DeKalb County, petition the DeKalb County Board of Education to adopt into the DeKalb County School curriculum a scheduled time for all students in kindergarten and grades one through five to have a daily recess period consisting of at least 15 minutes of supervised, unstructured activity time, preferably outdoors. For the purposes of Georgia Code Section 20_2_290, Georgia Code Section 20_2_323, and the related rules and regulations promulgated by the State Board of Education, the recess required by this Code section shall be considered as academic instruction. The DeKalb County Board of Education should establish policies to ensure that recess is a safe experience for students and that recess is scheduled so that it provides a break supportive of academic learning.
We support this petition for the following reasons:
1. That a growing number of elementary schools in Georgia no longer have daily recess;
2. That children become progressively inattentive when deprived of a significant break or recess;
3. That periodic mental breaks have been shown to improve memory;
4. That research has shown that children, especially those with attention deficit disorder, are more on task and less fidgety after a break or recess;
5. That, according to several new studies, students who had daily recess, outdoor activities or other play opportunities were better behaved than their counterparts and more able to concentrate -- even if they have ADHD -- than their peers;
6. That research shows that children are active 59 percent of the time during recess;
7. That children who are inactive in school also tend to be inactive after school;
8. That in the 20 years since some Georgia school systems abolished recess in elementary school, the rate of childhood obesity has doubled. Today, one in four children in America is obese, increasing the risks of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and Type II diabetes. Low activity is considered a cause of obesity;
9. That while several studies suggest that test scores either stay the same or slightly increase when a break is provided, there is no research that supports that providing breaks lowers test scores;
10. That it is appropriate for daily scheduled breaks to come from already mandated instructional hours. Federal labor regulations state that breaks 'promote the efficiency of the employees and are customarily paid for as working time. They must be counted as hours worked';
11. That the addition of recess will create opportunities for children to build social, negotiation, and creative play skills that are critically important for overall development; and
12. That daily recess will give students opportunities to apply the skills they are learning in physical education and will support the fitness testing to be instituted in all Georgia schools.

We, the undersigned, petition the DeKalb County Board of Education to adopt into the DeKalb County School curriculum a scheduled time for all students in kindergarten and grades one through five to have a daily recess period consisting of at least 15 minutes of supervised, unstructured activity time, preferably outdoors.
Signed,

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Phillip DukeBy:
City LifeIn:
Petition target:
DeKalb Board of Education

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