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Can Daily Recess Lead to Better Behavior? (page 2)

Can Daily Recess Lead to Better Behavior?

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Updated on Apr 18, 2011

The three boys weren’t bad kids; they just needed an outlet for their energy. And they needed regular and consistent positive attention from an adult who enjoyed “playing.”

“I had this sort of flash,” says Vialet. “And I remembered that when I was growing up there was this guy in the park named Clarence who always made sure that I could get in the game.”

That was the beginning of Sports4Kids. Vialet realized that all children deserved a Clarence of their very own. The program began in two schools and is now in 170 low-income schools across the country. “We hire young adults, typically right out of college, we train them for two weeks, and we get them started in the schools,” Vialet says. “These are fun, playful adults who are trained to help with conflict resolution.”

Sport4Kids carries a price tag: approximately $70,000 to run the program in each school. (Sports4Kids is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and many other institutional and individual supporters.)

As Congress is now looking carefully at No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and its positive and negative outcomes—one negative outcome being the elimination of recess to allow more time for academics—individuals like Dr. Barros are hopeful that attention will be paid to the research surrounding recess and productivity in the classroom. “What I’m hoping is that educators realize that recess and play and physical activity has to be part of the education curriculum.”

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