GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- Gov. Charlie Baker declared Friday “Recess Day”, recognizing the importance of getting kids outside and taking a break from the classroom.
Nearly half of all school districts in the state have either reduced or completely eliminated time for recess.
“My son was really active and they used to ask him to run to do a loop around the playground because he needed the extra exercise but they love being outside and free play is important for kids,” said Susan Peck of Greenfield.
This day is also a reminder of the importance of keeping kids fit and active at a young age. According to the Centers for Disease Control, childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years.
“It’s beautiful out, warm weather this time of year, I think its healthy for kids to do that,” said Veronica Boynay of Greenfield. “Especially in the day in age of electronics and video games, the more outside the better.”
According to “Playworks Masachusetts”, the playground is where students develop essential social and emotional skills. Research found that students achieve greater academic success when they participate in 20 minutes of recess a day.
“It’s easier just to focus your mind and keep your body strong if you have outside time,” said Ari Barnett-Soleil of Greenfield.
The CDC says recess can help reduce children’s stress, improve self-esteem, and help them control their weight. The students also improved their skills in communication, problem-solving and leadership.