At A Glance
A task force of low-income parents and families from the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) worked together with Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI), a community-based organization, to create awareness about the importance of having time for recess in elementary schools. As a result of their efforts, 236,450 students in all 474 Chicago public elementary schools now have 30 minutes of daily uninterrupted recess.
Public Health Challenge
Getting little or no physical activity each day is a key contributor to childhood obesity. Yet, for 82% of children in the CPS system, recess had been replaced with classroom time and was not a part of their curriculum. This increased the time children spent being sedentary and made it nearly impossible for kids to get the CDC-recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day for 5 or more days a week. When CPS system parents were asked about concerns related to their children’s education, the overwhelming concern was that lack of recess. The parents believed that—in addition to reducing their children’s obesity risk—recess broke up the school day and kept the children energized and focused.
Find Out More
If recess is not part of your children’s school's daily activities, find out why, then work with other parents and school staff to see how you can get more physical activity into the school day. Working together, we can give our children the opportunity to be active and make positive changes in their lives.This project is supported by CDC’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) cooperative agreement.