How to advocate for more recess in your child's educational environment

Research the benefits: Familiarize yourself with the research that highlights the importance of recess for children's physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development. This knowledge will strengthen your advocacy efforts.

Gather information: Collect data on recess policies and practices in your child's school and district. Understand the existing guidelines, scheduling, and any barriers that may limit recess time. If the bell schedule and school district policies are not published, you might have to ask the teacher or principal about it. Most school districts have student wellness policy that should be made available to parents.

Engage teachers and staff: Talk to teachers and other school staff about the importance of recess and its positive impact on children's well-being and academic performance. Encourage their support and involvement in advocating for more recess.

Communicate with school administrators: Schedule meetings with school administrators, such as the principal or superintendent, to discuss the benefits of increased recess time. Present your research, share concerns, and propose solutions.

Alternative solutions: Offer practical suggestions for integrating additional recess time into the school day without disrupting academic schedules. Could you collaborate with school officials to find creative solutions that balance recess and instructional time? You may find the recess toolkits helpful in your talk with school administrators.

Write letters or emails: Compose well-reasoned, respectful letters or emails to school administrators, school board members, and local policymakers. Clearly explain your concerns and provide evidence-based arguments for increasing recess time. Studies have shown that state law increases the chances that students will have daily recess of at least 20 minutes, so don't forget to contact your representatives!

Attend school board meetings: Take the opportunity to address the school board during public comment sessions. Share your concerns and advocate for more recess time, emphasizing its benefits for children's development.

Collaborate with other parents: Connect with like-minded parents who share your concern for more recess time. Form a group or join organizations that promote physical activity and healthy school environments.

Petition and gather signatures: Create a petition advocating for more recess time and collect signatures from parents, teachers, and community members who support your cause. Present this petition to school administrators and policymakers. Here is an example.

Stay persistent and build momentum: Keep advocating for more recess time consistently. Engage in ongoing discussions, attend meetings, and collaborate with others to build momentum and bring about positive change in your child's education environment.