Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Middletown Schools Experiment with Recess

Middletown Schools Experiment with Recess
Students at Rosa Parks Elementary School in Middletown are shaking up their daily schedules a little bit. Instead of heading for the playground after lunch, teachers are taking their classes out for recess before lunch, and many say it makes a difference in everything from attentiveness to healthy eating.

According to the school's nurse, Shane Allison, before the switch, students weren't eating the healthy meat and vegetables from their school lunches and they were rushing through lunch so they could go play. "Every day after they would eat lunch they'd come in and separate all their food waste. The food they didn't eat would go in the food bucket and drinks they didn't drink would go into a drink bucket, and they'd throw the trash trays away," Allison told WLWT in Cincinnati.

For one week, 62 fourth graders went to recess before lunch. The results were very positive. Allison said, "The kids have a lot less malaise, fatigue, (but) they're more focused because they have more calories on board." It also allowed students to talk about what they did on the playground during lunch, instead of during classtime, which cut back on classroom disruption.

The kids were even involved in the "scientific experiment." After lunch, the student weighed the buckets of food to see if they were eating more of their healthy lunches or less. The findings were that when going to recess before lunch, they ate about 32 percent more. School lunches are designed to meet one third to one half of a student's daily dietary needs. This is especially important for students on free or reduced lunch and who many not receive proper nutrition at home.

Next year, all Middletown schools will begin scheduling recess before lunch, due to the success of the experiment. Even students think it's a great idea. "If we run around, we get more hungrier and we come back in and can eat all our food," fourth grader Nathaniel Jones told WLWT.

For more information and to watch the WLWT newscast about the experiment, visit their website here: Playing Before Lunch Makes Kids Hungrier, More Attentive

Remember to call 513-422-1907 for Security Camera Systems in Middletown, Cincinnati, or the Dayton, Ohio areas.

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