A decision to double the recess time at all elementary schools in the Southlake-Carroll Independent School District, near Dallas, has us cheering. Starting this school year, instead of one 30-minute recess, students will have two sessions a day totaling more than 60 minutes.
The idea came from students themselves. At the end of last year Principal Jon Fike of Old Union Elementary asked third graders to write to him with their wishes of what they would like to see changed in the school year. Extra recess received an overwhelming response.
Along with the extra physical benefit from being outdoors, the decision is a win for children’s vision too.
Research shows that time outdoors can slow the progression of myopia (nearsightedness) which is affecting the world’s children in epidemic proportions. In fact, by 2050 myopia and high myopia will show a significant increase in prevalence globally, affecting nearly five billion people and one billion people respectively. When children can see they can learn better, increasing their chance for academic success.
“The decision to increase recess time is not only an investment in children’s health, but also an investment in their future,” said Kristan Gross, Global Executive Director, Vision Impact Institute. “We applaud the Southlake-Carroll ISD for thinking ahead for our future generations – and for prioritizing children’s vision in such a creative way.”
Photo: Courtesy of Southlake-Carroll ISD