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ERIC Number: EJ927145
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
ISSN: ISSN-1559-5676
Recess before Lunch Programs in Elementary Schools: Perceptions and Practices of School Professionals
Bounds, Wendy; Nettles, Mary Frances; Johnson, James T.
Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, v33 n1 Spr 2009
Purpose/Objectives: The objectives of this study were to examine the perceptions of school nutrition directors, principals/assistant principals, and teachers regarding issues important to consider when scheduling recess in relation to lunch, and to describe practices related to successfully implementing a recess before lunch program. Methods: A random sample representing 700 school districts and all United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regions was selected. A survey instrument was developed based on qualitative focus group data and addressed issues to consider when scheduling recess and when implementing a recess before lunch program. Surveys were mailed to school nutrition directors, who subsequently distributed surveys to principals/assistant principals and teachers in their districts, resulting in a total of 2,100 surveys. Statistical analyses included descriptive statistics, exploratory factor analysis, and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). Results: A total of 332 surveys (15.8%) were returned, with all groups of school professionals and all USDA regions represented. Five categories of issues to consider when determining how recess should be scheduled in relation to lunch in elementary schools were identified. These included personnel support/workload, child feeding implications, logistics, scheduling, and behavior. Issues rated as most important for successfully implementing a recess before lunch program included having strong leadership for the program, all involved parties working together to establish policy, and maintaining a positive attitude about the program. Applications to Child Nutrition Professionals: The study results provide information about education and training resources needed to assist elementary school professionals in transitioning to a recess before lunch schedule. Educational materials should target the entire school community and should provide strategies for overcoming barriers, such as handling of logistical issues. Additional resources are needed to assist schools in implementing recess before lunch programs, such as samples of recess and lunch schedules, and draft policies that can be used as templates. (Contains 4 tables.)
School Nutrition Association. 120 Waterfront Street Suite 300, National Harbor, MD 20745. Tel: 301-686-3100; Fax: 301-686-3115; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A