Program overhauls recess in local schools

THE BRONX - Childhood obesity is a nationwide epidemic, but there's a program in The Bronx that's not only getting kids moving, but is also teaching them how to have fun in a constructive way.

The Asphalt Green Recess Enhancement Program focuses on bringing structured and cooperative play to 14,000 students in 34 New York City public schools, including seven in The Bronx.

As part of the initiative, students can play games with a coach during recess, play on the jungle gym, or shoot hoops.

A new study by Hunter College has found that the recess program significantly increases physical activity and decreases aggressive verbal behavior.

In addition, Asphalt Green's program means a 48-percent increase in physical activity for children.

"Those behavioral problems that we used to have during recess are basically gone," says P.S. 103 Principal Farid Reyes.

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