Online Petition Calls for Longer Recess in Albemarle
An online petition is asking the Albemarle County School Board to increase playtime for kindergartners. The current policy allows for 30 minutes of recess each day, but supporters of the petition want one hour and 15 minutes.
The petition uses research from the Alliance for Childhood claiming that more playtime enhances mental and social skills and improves creative thinking ability. Board members were not aware of the petition until we brought it to their attention Tuesday morning, but they are already taking action.
Doctor Greg Gelburd is a family physician and supports giving kindergarten students more playtime. "So if you're on the playground playing with your buddies, there is a lot of social interaction, and children need social interaction," he said. "That's a big part of their development."
Billy Haun, Albemarle County's assistant superintendent for student learning, says students get 30 minutes a day for recess plus physical education four times a week. He is concerned about increasing that because he doesn't want to take away from core instruction.
Haun said, "Without commenting one way or the other, I would really like to look at the research and see what the research is talking about active learning research versus unstructured time versus P.E."
Doctor Gelburd says that 30 minutes isn't bad, but it's really not enough. "Seventy minutes would be fantastic, and I think truly that the administration of the schools would see a change in how these children do in their testing if they improved their exercise," he said.
Haun stated, "I think the petition probably brings up a lot of good points. I would just like to take a look at the research and see what it says and go from there.
We tried to reach out to the petition sponsor who is listed under the name The Coalition for Childhood and Adolescence, but we have not received a response. At last check, the petition had 12 signatures.
Natalie Wilson joined the NBC29 news team as a general assignment reporter in April 2012.Full Story
Natalie Wilson joined the NBC29 news team as a general assignment reporter in April 2012. She is a proud alum of Howard University and is currently pursuing her Master's in Communication at Johns Hopkins. Email/ Full Story