Walk to School Wednesday

William H. Ross, III School second graders Angelina Reis, and Angelina Damiani, both 7, of Margate, play on playground equipment before school, Wednesday Oct. 5, 2016, during Walk to School Wednesday, an initiative to promote healthier lifestyles and a reduction in carbon emissions. (Michael Ein/Staff Photographer)

TRENTON (AP) — Young students in New Jersey schools are now guaranteed at least 20 minutes a day of recess.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed a measure Friday that requires students in kindergarten through fifth grade to get the break from classwork each day.

Lawmakers say recess allows younger students time to cultivate social skills and could improve their readiness to learn.

The measure calls for holding recess outside if feasible.

Under the law, students may not be denied recess for any reason, unless they violate a school district's code of conduct.

The legislation dates back to 2010. It was previously pocket vetoed by Republican Gov. Chris Christie in 2016.

The law goes into effect in the 2019-20 school year, according to a decision by the state Attorney General's Office issued Sept. 10.*

*This story has been updated to reflect the latest guidance from the Department of Education.

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CLowe@pressofac.com

Twitter @clairelowe

Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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