Research reveals that unstructured free play during recess—in comparison to structured PE class—enables children to use their imaginations and grow socially, as well as physically.
"In my mind it was important just because everybody needs a break," McCrary said. "We're all human. We're not making widgets in the school. We are teaching children."
"It helps the child to be more ready to learn and process things in their minds; that makes it a lot more advantageous for them when they get into the classroom. They'll be more ready to learn," McCrary said.
Some parents in Texas are pushing state lawmakers to give children a break by making recess a requirement in public schools.
Richardson ISD parent Rita McCrary learned two years ago that her third-grade daughter got 10 minutes of recess, and she felt this did not suffice. So McCrary took action.
But McCrary hopes more parental support will work the bill loose so children can have more time to play at school.
These parents say the state should require public schools to give elementary students recess, which is more than just a pointless time for children to run wild.
So McCrary and other parents with the same mindset got a bill filed in the Texas House that would require elementary schools to give students at least 20 minutes of recess every day, in addition to the 135 minutes of P.E. each week.
What she learned is that Texas doesn't require recess, but the law does mandate 135 minutes a week of physical activity, and recess can be included in that allotted time.
Rep. Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands, chairman of the House Education Committee, said he understands why recess can be beneficial, but he isn't ready to back another state mandate.
The bill is stuck in Eissler's committee.
"We try to leave the discretion to the people running the schools who are the people closest to the kids," he said.