In an effort to promote the importance of physical activity in schools, the White Plains, N.Y.-based Dannon Co. has launched its second annual “Rally for Recess” initiative, which will award five participating schools with a $30,000 playground makeover. Three individual winners will receive “Playtime at Home” prizes worth $1,000.
Now through Dec 31., Dannon’s Rally for Recess invites consumers across America to collect codes on specially marked packages of Danimals Smoothies and Dan-o-nino low-fat yogurt and enter their codes online for a chance to win.
Experts agree that physical activity is a critical component of healthy childhood development and can facilitate physical and emotional development. The Institute of Medicine reports that one out of every three children is overweight or obese in America and recommends that children get at least an hour of exercise each day – a difficult task given schools’ limited physical education.
“It’s so important for children to stay active, especially at school when the majority of the day is spent sitting in a classroom," said Dr. Joanna Dolgoff, pediatrician, child obesity expert and author of “Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right.” “It has been further recommended by experts that half of [each child’s daily exercise] take place at school, including at recess.”
Last year’s Rally for Recess winners and recipients of a full playground makeover included Gator Run Elementary School in Weston, Fla.; J.F. Kennedy Memorial in Franklin, Mass.; Cashell Elementary in Rockville, Md., Spicewood Elementary in Austin, Texas; and Pine Island Montessori in Davie, Fla.