This is a petition requesting recess to be added to the daily schedule at the new Nazareth Intermediate School for 4th, 5th and 6th grades set to open August 2009. Recess is a necessary break from the school day's routine, an essential component for the alertness required during the academic day. Recess allows children to blend intellectual activities with physical play as well as further develop their social skills making for a well-rounded experience. Daily physical inactivity poses both a mental and physical health threat for children. Recess is not just a good idea; it is considered a basic right by the United Nations. "Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child". The Pennsylvania Dept of Education recommends that all school districts incorporate physical activity, beyond physical education classes, at all grade levels, with elementary schools providing activity periods during each school day focused on movement. According to our own Nazareth School District Wellness Policy: We recognize that student wellness and proper nutrition are related to students’ physical well-being, growth, development, and readiness to learn. The Board is committed to providing a school environment that promotes student wellness, proper nutrition, nutrition education, and regular physical activity as part of the total learning experience. To ensure the health and well-being of all students, the Board establishes that the district shall provide to students physical education courses and opportunities for developmentally appropriate physical activity during the school day. To read the policy in full visit: http://www.nazarethasd.k12.pa.us/718921115121215/lib/718921115121215/_files/Policy_246_-_Student_Wellness.pdf Yet the Nazareth School District Administration is proposing to lengthen the school day for 4th-6th graders by an hour and eliminate recess altogether. When asked at a recent PTA meeting parents were told if a teacher feels the need to give their kids a break they can provide one. That is not good enough. This petition is to request a block of time specifically for recess preferably following the lunch break. Additionally we are asking that the renovations being made to the current Middle School to accommodate the 4th-6th graders include provisions to the exterior to insure a safe and fun area for the kids to have recess recreation. Please sign this petition indicating you recognize the importance of adding a set recess time and a recreational area for 4th, 5th and 6th graders at the new Nazareth Intermediate School. Thank you.
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