Thursday, April 27, 2006

Play--then eat

…What does HA hear most? Write more stories about kid fitness and recess! Seriously. She does.

…Remember the drill? Eat lunch, run outside for recess?

…Some schools in Arizona are reversing that. Recess, then lunch.

…The four schools contemplated the tremendous shift at length and got buy-in from parents and teachers through meetings. An article in the Journal of the American Dietetic Assn in 1996 spurred the changeover.

…Some issues did come up. Kids were amped up after playing, lost their lunch tickets and gotten all grubby. Hand sanitizers were provided for cleanup.

…Some kids dawdled during lunch because they weren’t zipping out to play. More time was allowed for eating. The fast eaters had to just sit there, though, waiting for class time. Everyone knows kids don’t just sit there.

…Kids came in hungrier and thirstier. Kids were offered a mid-morning snack to fuel up.

…When lunch came, there was less waste of beverages (this was confirmed also by a Montana Office of Public Instruction study of three Montana schools that tried this). Wasted food was down 13%. The little beggars are hungry!

…Kids calm down at lunch and get back down to business afterward more quickly.

…Nurses report 38% fewer after-recess tummyaches.

…Still, at first, some parents and kids thought this was taking insane liberties with time-honored tradition.

…Then, gradually, they got to accept or like it.


Bill Thomasson said...

My, how time-honored traditions do change. In Bill's time, recess was mid-morning and again mid-afternoon. He usually spent the time parked against the building wall hoping he wouldn't get picked on.

Star said...

Or have to climb the, the rope! I still have nighmares. I did like jumproping, tho. and jacks! I almost picked a photo of jacks--then wondered, would anyone know what they were...