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Right to Recess

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Opened on September 01, 2017

Experts agree that playtime can be just as vital as classroom time to a child’s social, emotional and educational development.

Despite mounting evidence that kids need an outlet to blow off steam, learn to interact with others and get the exercise they need, nearly 40 percent of American elementary schools have either eliminated or are considering eliminating recess.

Due to school budget cuts and an increased focus on academic standards, millions of American schoolchildren may miss out on unstructured play with their peers including hopscotch, tag, kickball or jump rope.

Recess also functions successfully as an established school-based activity and should be carefully considered as part of any school health and wellness policy.

A survey, conducted by the PTA at one school, showed that nine out of 10 teachers say recess and the free time spent with peers is an important part of the school day and is crucial to a child’s social and emotional development.

Studies have shown that kids who are given the opportunity to take a break from their hectic academic schedules actually develop and perform better than those who go without. – Darell Hammond, CEO, KaBOOM! – Huffington Post

According to the United Nations, the opportunity for play and recreation is a fundamental human right of every child:

"The child is entitled to receive education, which shall be free and compulsory, at least in the elementary stages. He shall be given an education which will promote his general culture and enable him, on a basis of equal opportunity, to develop his abilities, his individual judgement, and his sense of moral and social responsibility, and to become a useful member of society.

The best interests of the child shall be the guiding principle of those responsible for his education and guidance; that responsibility lies in the first place with his parents.

The child shall have full opportunity for play and recreation, which should be directed to the same purposes as education; society and the public authorities shall endeavour to promote the enjoyment of this right."

United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child

The students at The Philadelphia Performing arts Charter School are being denied their right for recess. I have been told by multiple parents that they have voiced this concern to teachers and/or administrators. They have been told that there isn't enough time in the school day to incorporate recess. If each class was shortened by approximately 5 minutes, the children would have ample time for recess everyday. The school can use the gym, the courtyard, and/or the ballet studios to provide this necessary recreation.

Please sign this petition to support our efforts to incorporate recess into The Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter school.

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