Recess before lunch gives keiki a boost
An elementary school's switch of meal and play periods cut discipline problems.
A WINDWARD school's solution to long lunch lines
serendipitously became a solution to several other problems, much to the delight of teachers and administrators and the benefit of students.
By simply switching the traditional order of lunch, then recess, for some of its students, Kaneohe Elementary has seen fewer incidents of conflict and disciplinary actions on the playground and in the cafeteria, and better-fed children more in the mood for afternoon classes.
The good results of Kaneohe's pilot program suggest the small change might be worth adopting by more schools in Hawaii, as have schools in Arizona, Massachusetts and Indiana. However, the change might be limited by schools' lack of staff to supervise students.
That would be unfortunate because when the Kaneohe school's children played before lunch, they ate more of their nutritionally balanced lunches -- cutting food waste -- and behaved better when they returned to classrooms.
Arrangements would have to be made for students who bring food from home to easily retrieve bentos and brown bags and so that kids don't lose their lunch payment cards while on the jungle gym. Such problems aren't insurmountable and are outweighed by the switch's advantages.
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