Education Trends: “Active” Recess in U.S. Schools Gets a Leg Up With Newly Released Resources from CDC and SHAPE America

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Largest Association of Health and Physical Educators Help Schools Make the Most of This Critical Part of School Day

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"Schools can create recess environments that support physical activity, positively impact student learning, and improve classroom behavior," says Holly Hunt, Chief, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, School Health Branch.

Physical education and health experts are making “active” recess a priority for schools in the U.S. as a way to boost students’ academic performance, improve behavior and focus, and enhance physical and emotional well-being.

To support recess and enhance active school environments, schools across the country will now have step-by-step guidance and evidence-based strategies with the publication today of two new guidance documents, Strategies for Recess in Schools and Recess Planning in Schools: A Guide to Putting Strategies for Recess Into Practice, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators.

“This is a milestone in our quest to increase children’s physical activity levels,” says SHAPE America Chief Executive Officer E. Paul Roetert, Ph.D. “Recess contributes to the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity for students and helps them apply the knowledge and skills they learn in an effective health and physical education program. In addition, recess supports 50 Million Strong, SHAPE America’s commitment to empower all kids to lead active and healthy lives.”

"Schools can create recess environments that support physical activity, positively impact student learning, and improve classroom behavior," says Holly Hunt, Chief, CDC's School Health Branch.

The new resources will help schools develop a comprehensive plan for recess to increase students’ participation in physical activity and improve their academic achievement.

By diving into each of the five broad categories included in the Strategies for Recess in Schools document, school staff or committees will be able to answer specific questions which will help them examine and enhance an existing recess program, or develop a new recess plan for a school.

Parents are encouraged to use the resources to advocate for active recess in their local schools.

Since 2006, CDC has provided funding to SHAPE America to improve physical education and physical activity programs through two cooperative agreement projects; development of the recess toolkit is an integral part of SHAPE America's work with CDC. Development of these strategies was guided by the opinions of expert researchers, public health and education practitioners, and non-governmental organizations that focus on recess. For more information, visit http://www.shapeamerica.org.

Links:
CDC and SHAPE America New Resources on Recess
SHAPE America interactive infographics
Video featuring Thomasville NC school where Active Recess is Working
CDC Recess News
Video B-roll and Interviews available

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Paula Kun
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