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Education

Bringing Back Recess to Polk County Schools

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Robin Sussingham
/
WUSF

Polk County School Superintendent Kathryn LeRoy spoke Tuesday to a group of parents and teachers in Lakeland who are rallying for more recess in schools.

Superintendent LeRoy told the crowd  that she's in favor of recess. She said that other school districts are making resolutions in favor of bringing back recess, but she wants to make policy.

LeRoy said she's forming a county-wide committee to quickly study the issue and bring recommendations back to the school board by the beginning of December.

Elementary school teacher Carly Grebing was in the audience. She said her students were too little to sit still all day, and learned valuable lessons during recess.

"Kids are lacking in social skills these days," Grebing said, "and you see people are on their phones constantly. Instead of sitting on the iPad or playing a video game, they need to get out and play and be active."

LeRoy told the crowd that the decision about whether to have recess was left to individual schools, and most schools in Polk had at least one day of recess. She said that the time necessary for all the state mandates had crowded out time for free play. Several school districts in Florida, she said, had no recess time at all.