One small step for KND, one giant leap for recess everywhere

I love a happy ending, so I can’t resist bringing you an update on a story I brought up last month.

Back then, I let you know that Cartoon Network was busy preparing for National Recess Week. You could sign up for free Recess Kits, and many events were planned for this past week (September 18th through the 22nd). It was all in honor of “rallying ’round the fourth R” and remembering the importance of adequate physical activity (yes, even at school!) for our kids.

So. How did it go?

Well, it sounds like a good time was had by all. I may still be boggling over people not understand that kids need breaks in their days to stretch and run around (heck, I need that, and it’s been a long time since I played freeze tag with anyone), but the Rescuing Recess campaign came, saw, and strengthened various school districts’ resolve to make sure our kids stay healthy.

From last week’s press release:

As part of the “National Recess Week” festivities, twelve mayors in key markets such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, and Minneapolis have each issued proclamations in support of Rescuing Recess and the week-long commemoration.

“The Rescuing Recess campaign celebrates recess as the fourth ‘R’ among school fundamentals: reading, writing, arithmetic and, as we now see it, recess. Each of these elements is essential to a child’s overall education and every child deserves to have the benefits of all four within his school day,” said Jim Samples, executive vice president and general manager of Cartoon Network. “After addressing two critical recess issues earlier this spring — state policies and grant funding for equipment — Rescuing Recess, through these ‘National Recess Week’ rallies, will now focus on recruiting parents and community members to serve as volunteer recess monitors, which help ensure that children have unstructured playtime throughout their day.”

At the end of the week, the much-anticipated episode of Codename: Kids Next Door, “Operation R.E.C.E.S.S.,” debuted on Friday night.

Some of the $1.3m Cartoon Network has pledged towards rescuing recess has already been disbursed to PTAs in 49 states, the Virgin Islands and the Department of Defense Schools in Europe. (See the full list of recipients here, if you’re so inclined.)

Anyone who’s ever spent a rainy day cooped up inside with a few kids knows that—surprise!—kids need time to run around or they become insufferable little beasties. I’m really thrilled that Cartoon Network is stepping up with the money to help local organizations keep doing what our kids need. Not the least of which because I’m certainly not letting my kids back into the house at the end of the day if they haven’t had recess.

Stop looking at me like that.

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