We’re back from an exciting weekend in New Orleans! Representatives from IPEMA and the Voice of Play, including 2018 Marketing Committee Chair Brian Johnson, represented at the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Conference.
This was the first year we attended this conference, and we were able to engage with hundreds of parents and teachers from across the U.S. about the importance of play and recess! Our biggest goal was to share the findings from our 2018 survey on recess.
In speaking with those who visited our booth, everyone agreed how important recess is. We shared some of the biggest takeaways from the survey, such as:
- 100 percent of teachers surveyed said that recess is essential for young students’ mental and physical development.
- After recess, 81 percent of teachers said that kids’ behaviors change positively (including more positive moods, longer attention spans, increased participation in class, and improved academic performance).
- 95 percent of teachers agree that recess improves their students’ social interactions.
- 78 percent noted their students are focused and ready for their next lesson when they return from recess.
Some of the folks we met with said that their schools weren’t focused on recess enough, and some schools even use recess as a form of punishment, which is in line with our survey findings, where 86 percent of those surveyed have at one time decreased or taken away recess time as punishment for bad behavior. But recess is a right, and essential for every child, and should never been seen as optional, so it was also exciting to see teachers are aligned with the National Institute for Play’s scientific evidence of the developmental benefits of a playful recess.
On Saturday, there was “PTA-Palooza” where attendees had some fun with music, dancing and prizes. The feel of the city of New Orleans really lit up the convention center!
Thank you to the National PTA for a wonderful conference! And stay tuned for our ad in the fall issue of Our Children magazine. For more on the PTA Conference, search for the hashtag #PTACon18 on Twitter.