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Bill Mandating Increased Recess Time Passes House Education Committee

The American Academy of Pediatrics says recess allows a child physical activity and a way to spend excess energy, which offers cognitive and emotional benefits in the classroom.

Right now, Arizona’s largest elementary school district limits lunch time recess to 20-minutes.

It’s why freshman State Representative and former school teacher Jesus Rubalcava asked fellow lawmakers to consider House Bill 2082. The bill would mandate schools offer 50 minutes of play each day for kindergarten through fifth grade students.

“For many children, especially those considered hyperactive,” Rubalcava said, “recess is an opportunity to expend energy in a healthy, suitable manner.”

Anecdotally, he shared with fellow House Education Committee members how allowing children to engage in "loud, messy behavior" resulted in more productive behavior at the school where he taught.

The bill unanimously passed the committee after facing some push back. Prescott Republican Representative David Stringer had issue with the bill being written as a mandate.

“If the research on this is so strong,” Stringer asked, “then why wouldn’t charter schools and individual districts and individual school governing boards implement it?”

House Bill 2082 has bi-lateral support. Republican Representative Rusty Bowers supports it from a practical stance. 

“There’s a real-life component of the rough and tumble of life,” he said, adding that it gives kids a chance to socially interact and independently sort out differences.

The bill faces greater debate when it goes to the full house, namely: Where schools will find the time between increasing curriculum demands.

Holliday Moore is a native Arizonan and veteran journalist who joined KJZZ’s news team in January 2017.Moore graduated from Arizona State University after double majoring in mass communications and marketing/management. She spent her first two decades reporting for television news, beginning in small markets and working up to congressional correspondent in Washington, D.C., for a political news service.Family commitments in Arizona brought her back to the Southwest, where she covered legislative and court beats for Albuquerque’s KRQE-TV and the infamous Four Corner Manhunt as KREZ-TV’s managing editor.Back home in Phoenix, she developed ABC15’s “Democracy Project,” now instituted at all Scripps’ news stations nationwide. Her work garnered “Best Practices” recognition by the Poynter Institute and the prestigious Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.Her television reports, from sports to cultural issues, earned her multiple Emmy and Associated Press nominations, including a Rocky Mountain Emmy for her Hopi Partition Land Act coverage.As she started a family, Moore started her own media production agency, producing magazine-style travel stories for the Emmy-winning Arizona Highways Television show while working part time for a Valley radio station. She is convinced radio is where visual, sound, and print are merging through deeper storytelling. In her relatively short time with radio network affiliates, she has won four Edward R. Murrow Awards and multiple nominations from other professional news societies.Moore now teaches advanced broadcast writing to the next generation of reporters at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where a high percentage have gone on to receive national awards for their work in her class. She enjoys being back home near childhood friends and sharing the beautiful Arizona desert with her husband and young son.