The Commission scolaire de Montréal (CSDM) and Direction régionale de santé publique du CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal (DRSP) have published a document entitled Recess: An Important Aspect of School Success. The Essential Role of Recess in Children’s School Success and Health. The goal of this publication is to convince education stakeholders that recess complements classroom learning. Around 40 recommendation are presented to protect students’ right to recess.
The document was released to the press at Sainte-Louise-de-Marillac, a CSDM school, and presented to Sébastien Proulx, Minister of Education, who was there on the first day of school.
The authors, Marie-Hélène Guimont, physical education and health consultant for Bouger une heure par jour at CSDM, and Marylène Goudreault, health promotion consultant at the DRSP, state that recess is a necessary break during the day: by giving children time to play more than once during the day, the school provides opportunities for them to expend excess energy and interact with their peers differently than they do in class.
Since recess is usually held outdoors, children then have a lot more space to move around freely, and can discover and try out new activities. They expend more energy and take risks that will help them reach their full potential.
For all these reasons, measures should be adopted to make sure all children benefit from regular recesses during the school day, in healthy, safe and stimulating environments that are favourable to their development. Recreation is much more than just a break and should be understood as free, creative learning time.
It has been clearly proven that recess presents an opportunity to foster children’s overall development, and should be considered essential to children’s health and educational success.
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