Health Groups Say Students Need More Playtime

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month is focusing in on children getting enough play time. Some local organizations believe students in the Rochester City School District need more.

Eight city elementary schools and one charter school received grant money that goes toward recess. It helps pay for coaches and staff to organize playground activities. Active Research Living found kids getting 20 minutes of recess each day have lower body mass index percentages than their peers. Active students are more likely to earn an A in English and math. Some believe more time spent on academics and longer school days has reduced recess time.

"Given the connection and the benefits recess can play in overall academic achievement, we think it's kind of that missing link. Keeping kids at their desks might not always be the solution but letting them get out and play may be," said Dina Faticone, with the Healthi Kids Coalition.

The Rochester City School District requires elementary students receive at least 20 minutes of recess per day, outdoors if the weather permits.

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