AFT Resolution

THE HEALTHY STUDENT—STUDENT RECESS TIME

WHEREAS, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, recess is a crucial and necessary component of child development; benefiting children emotionally, socially, physically and academically; and

WHEREAS, federal mandates on education have increased instruction time in the classroom, and have reduced recess time so drastically that only half of school-aged children are receiving the recommended guidelines of at least one hour of physical activity per day; and

WHEREAS, it is not uncommon for recess to be used as a reward, or the loss of recess to be used as a punishment; and

WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 13 million adolescents, ages ranging from 2 to 19, are considered obese; and

WHEREAS, research shows that students eat better and are better behaved when they have recess before lunch; and

WHEREAS, research shows that children who are more physically fit retain new information more effectively. This means higher test scores and overall better school performance. Additionally, healthy children make chances of students falling ill far less likely. This adds up to less missed work for parents and less missed school time for children; and

WHEREAS, other countries with highly successful educational programs schedule time for students to have unstructured breaks during the school day; and

WHEREAS, these same countries post stellar scores in math, reading and science compared to countries that have less recess time:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will support legislation for the purpose of establishing recess as an important part of the curriculum; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will support legislation establishing no fewer than 30 minutes of recess time daily for our students. 

(2017)

Please note that a newer resolution, or portion of a resolution, may have superseded an earlier resolution on the same subject. As a result, with the exception of resolutions adopted at our most recent AFT convention, resolutions do not necessarily reflect current AFT policies.