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09/28/2021 10:36 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20210&cosponId=36024
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: July 28, 2021 12:01 PM
From: Representative Tim Briggs
To: All House members
Subject: Elementary School Recess legislation
 
We all want our children to be productive and successful.
 
After approximately 16 months of disrupted educational and social interactions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many of our children are suffering.  The pandemic has led to an increase in obesity and heightened levels of stress/anxiety.   
 
Since our children will continue to deal with the aforementioned challenges while facing a “new normal” at school, I believe it is imperative that we consider means to improve our children’s mental and physical well-being while they are in our collective care in the school setting. 
 
During my tenure, I have made it a point to listen to our students and a reoccurring concern I’ve heard, has been the lack of unstructured, supervised play time or “recess.”
 
As such, I will be introducing legislation requiring elementary schools in the Commonwealth to provide a minimum of 30 minutes per day for this recess or unstructured recreational play. 
 
Recess is not intended to be physical education or other structured physical activities, but a time where children can recreate under adult supervision with other children. 
 
  According to the CDC, Recess benefits students by:
 
  • Increasing their level of physical activity.
  • Improving their memory, attention, and concentration.
  • Helping them stay on-task in the classroom.
  • Reducing disruptive behavior in the classroom.
  • Improving their social and emotional development (e.g., learning how to share and negotiate).
 
Our children are our collective future.  Let’s make sure they have time to “play” and reenergize while gaining the benefits of physical activity that will keep them healthier and happier throughout life, while also reducing personal and societal medical costs.