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Fit To Be Taught, Vol. 51

Recess Is Alive, (Mostly) Well


A few years ago parent groups were angered by news that recess was being eliminated at many schools. A new report shows that most elementary schools continue to offer recess, although children may get less time to play.

A recent report from the Center for Public Education (CPE) indicates that the majority of U.S. elementary school children -- nine out of ten -- have regularly-scheduled recess. I think the message is getting out how important physical activity is," said Brenda Z. Greene, director of school health programs for the National School Boards Association (NSBA), which has been concerned about reports that many schools were dropping recess.

While recesss survival is good news for child advocates and health experts monitoring the problem of childhood obesity, the bad news is that some schools are continuing to trim minutes from recess to gain more time for academics. Also, students in high-poverty areas, who have the fewest opportunities for outdoor play, are the least likely to have recess.

The center report, Time Out: Is Recess in Danger? was compiled by center staff members who reviewed data from different sources.

While over the past few years statistics indicating that large numbers of schools were eliminating recess generated a lot of public concern, some digging showed that those figures did not accurately reflect the recess landscape, according to the center.

Read the full article on Education World

Wellness News
School Allows Only Healthful Snacks Students from the Neenah, Wisconsin, school district who want to bring an occasional treat for their classmates are limited to fruit, vegetables, and other healthful snacks. Some parents say the policy is too rigid.

Urban Girls Have Fewer Sports OpportunitiesCity girls start playing sports at a later age and have fewer opportunities than city boys to participate in athletics, says a report from the Women's Sports Foundation.

Team Nutrition Stresses Healthful Habits

Manchester Team Nutrition, sponsored by the Manchester (New Hampshire) School District in collaboration with the local health department, is coordinated by a registered dietitian and consultant. The goal of Team Nutrition is to reinforce healthful lifestyle habits for children in the Manchester School District through meal planning, as in school lunches; nutrition education, and physical activity. The program is aimed primarily at the students and teachers in the districts 14 elementary schools and the students parents.

The dietitian works with the director of school food services, food service workers, students, school nurses, teachers, parents, and many community organizations. They deliver nutrition and physical activity education through the Healthy Hearts Program (a six-week program for students and parents), nutrition contests, creative classes, monthly school lunch menus and newsletters, health fairs, nutrition plays, parent luncheons in 14 schools, and a Web site. Nutrition interns from the University of New Hampshire and nursing students from St. Anselm College also create new and fun activities such as Food Feud, Pin the Food in a Safe Place, Alice's Diner, and Where in the World is a Balanced Meal?

Team Nutrition helped increase the school lunch participation by 1,010 meals per day in 2000. Each year, more schools use Team Nutrition as part of their individual wellness programs for kids.

Read more about this program at: Manchester Team Nutrition.

Click to learn more about Action for Healthy Kids.

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