Posted October 1, 2012
In the school year, 2012-2013, Ralph Downs Elementary School in Putnam City School District began scheduling recess before lunch in an effort to increase student food and nutrient consumptions at lunch. "As elementary educators, we know and understand the importance that nutrition has on the effects of effective learning experiences for children. Therefore, it was vital that we offer recess before lunch so that our students would take the appropriate time needed to eat a healthy and complete lunch. We are already seeing the positive impact effects of our 'recess before lunch' model”, according to Stephanie Wallace, Ralph Downs Elementary School Principal.
Recent elementary school pilot projects have been conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of recess before lunch. For example, in 2002-2003, the Montana Team Nutrition Program worked with four schools to evaluate implementation of a Recess Before Lunch (RBL) policy. Learn More.
“Though we have only just implemented recess before lunch this school year, we are already seeing students return empty trays, milk cartons, and drink more water,” said Kate Waring, Physical Education teacher at Ralph Downs Elementary School. “In addition to recess before lunch, we have been able to provide water coolers in the cafeteria to encourage water over sugary drinks. Both changes are small and affordable, yet are beginning to give us big rewards in improved behavior, better nutrition, and more students ready to learn when they return to the classroom.”
By moving recess before lunch and providing drinking water, Ralph Downs is proving that small changes to the environment can positively impact kid’s lives.