SAN ANTONIO -

Upon mounting evidence that recess has numerous positive residual effects on elementary school children, the San Antonio Independent School District has mandated that all of its elementary schools set aside a 15-minute period of recess every day.

Prior to this academic year, recess was considered optional.

For many students, recess is the best part of the school day.

"I like recess because it's a lot more fun and we can do monkey bars and we get to do flips," said Amari Marquez, a second-grader at De Zavala Elementary School.

"Well, I like to just play around ... with my friends. I like to just play. It's fun to be outside instead of going inside and doing all our work," said Zoe Garza, second-grader at De Zavala Elementary School.

But having mandatory time for recess is more than just letting these kids blow off steam. It has residual effects on academics and socially as well.

"Children can come out here and they learn a different level of how to get along with each other. They can mix with as many children in their class as they'd like," said Joesph Cerna, principal of De Zavala Elementary School.

"It increases the blood flow. It increases blood to the brain and the kids learn more," said Roger Rodriguez, SAISD's coordinator of physical education and health.

These guidelines took affect at the beginning of this academic year. The recess periods are in addition to 135 minutes of physical education class per week.

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