As a parent, educator, psychologist, and founder of a school for young children, I believe recess needs to be understood as essential in children’s health and not a luxury.

The importance of your article “The Power of Play’’ (Globe West, Jan. 24) was in highlighting not only the physical benefits of play in relation to positive health effects but also the social and emotional benefits for children.

Engaging in active and creative play gives children a place to release stress and pent-up energy, helping them to deal with feelings that can result in anxiety, aggression and depression.

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In addition, recess provides opportunity for children to socialize in an unstructured setting, using their imagination to create games and communicate in ways that help them build critical social skills in developing better connections and friendships.

Play means so much more than just a break from work (for children, play is also their work); it offers opportunities to deal with stress and work through conflicts in an atmosphere that necessitates cooperation, negotiation, and problem solving between and among friends — skills that are critical in academic, social, and personal success throughout life.

Donna Housman

Beginnings School, Weston