SOUTHLAKE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – They asked for more recess and they got it.
Students at Old Union Elementary School in Southlake returned to school this week to the news their recess time will double after their pleas to their principal for more playground time last year.
The move was so well received at Old Union Elementary that Southlake-Carroll ISD implemented the change at all of their elementary schools in the district.
Principal Jon Fike said at the end of last school year he asked the 3rd graders to write to him with their wishes of what they would like to see changed in the future school year.
Fike said he received an overwhelming amount of letters from young students asking for extra recess time.
Their request came at a time when he himself was already researching the topic.
“When they express ideas and thoughts like that especially if it’s great ideas our staff is also willing to step out and do something new and different,” said Fike.
Now instead of just one 30-minute recess session, the students will have two sessions a day totaling more than 60 minutes.
Fike said the teachers have the flexibility to decide how to fit the extra recess time into their schedule.
Libby Skiendzielewski is one of the now 4th graders that wrote a letter asking for more recess.
“It makes me feel important and that my letter was noticed and thought through,” she said.
Tracy Patton, a mother of two children at Old Union said, “It’s nice for the kids to have a chance to be out and play with their friends and get a chance to be kids.”
Fike said studies show there is an academic benefit in giving children extra recess time throughout the day.
“There’s lot of research out about kids being out and being active. It helps with behavior, it helps with the focus and over all academics,” said Fike.
Researchers from TCU in Fort Worth have been studying the topic with test programs at various school districts throughout North Texas, but Southlake-Carroll ISD is not one of them.