More Physical Activities / Quality Recess Time
I am a parent/guardian of a PS 122 student. I recognize that adequate physical activity and quality recess time are fundamental to the overall health and success of my child. I support changes or improvements in the following areas:

1. Beginning this year, teachers have the option to sign up for additional recess time during the week. We would like to encourage this as much as possible, or, ideally (but understanding realistic limitations) make an additional recess period compulsory.

2. We would like to find a way to encourage teachers to utilize other methods than taking away a recess/playtime period as a consequence for negative behaviors in the classroom.

3. Teachers already have exercise videos in the classrooms, that they can use at their own discretion. We'd like to see them required for 10-15 minutes daily.

4. We would like to see the temperature rule lowered so that our kids spend more time outside and less time in the auditorium. Additionally, we would like to see free play encouraged on the playground and lunch aides who have instruction that allows them to encourage positive behaviors in an appropriate manner.

5. We would like to see that the content of what students watch in the auditorium is appropriate.

6. We would like to see additional opportunities for physical education/activity added overall. One idea in this vein was to connect with the education programs of local colleges/yoga instructors/etc to create partnerships with 122 where our kids receive play/exercise experiences in exchange for training experiences.

7. We would like to explore partnering with organizations that currently provide related services to expand the amount and quality overall what is already in place at 122, possibly funded through the PTA. Such partnerships already exist in other schools.

8. Designing a survey that, with the permission of the administration, can be distributed to teachers to anonymously report their current activities in this area and discover how we could best work with them to meet our overall goal.

9. We will look into training for the lunch aides (maybe to increase their understanding of what is developmentally appropriate behavior to expect in kids at recess and augment their tools for keeping order in a way that is kind, effective, yet allows the recess period to serve its true function: free play!). A Lunch Aid of the Month program can also be used to promote healthy recess environment.

We all know that any improvements in the time and/or quality of physical education, recess, free play that are implemented will benefit (1) our children's overall well being, and (2) likely lead to improvements in classroom behavior and concentration. These are important in this age of increased academic/testing pressure on our kids.

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