NBA Aims To Help Cartoon Network Rescue Recess

Tipping off “National Recess Week,” Cartoon Network announced a partnership with the National Basketball Association’s social responsibility arm, NBA Cares, to help enlist 1 million volunteer hours as part of its “Rescuing Recess” community outreach program.

As part of that effort, Miami Heats star Dwayne Wade has stepped up as the national spokesman for the initiative. Wade will lead fellow NBA players, legends and WNBA stars in making public school appearances during the school year as volunteer recess monitors. He will also appear in a national on-air spot to promote Rescuing Recess, which was created by Cartoon Network to champion the benefits and importance of daily recess in schools.

Rescuing Recess was launched in March 2006 as part of Cartoon Network’s “Get Animated” healthy lifestyles program to protect and revitalize recess in schools across the country.  

Media support will include a multi-million dollar national media campaign across all Turner Broadcasting networks -- CNN, TNT, TBS, Court TV, TCM and Cartoon Network. In addition, the campaign will have a presence at bus stands, on-bus billboards, print publications and select online sites available through AOL.

The push comes hard on the sneakers of a new report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, concluding that recess is the single best way to help kids be more physically active, but that recess is declining in schools that primarily educate children from minority and low income families. The complete report is available at

As mentioned above, the focus of the 2007-08 Rescuing Recess campaign is a year-long pledge drive to enlist 1 million volunteer hours supporting recess and physical activity. Top volunteer-recruiting schools from each state and the District of Columbia can earn $2,500 in grants toward supporting the school’s physical activity programs and healthy lifestyle initiatives, as well as $250 gift certificates for merchandise from the Sportime, Inc. physical education equipment catalog. An ultimate winning school to receive a single $25,000 cash grant and a special recess rally event will be announced in June.

National Recess Week was first celebrated in September 2006 to start that school year with fun, interactive recess rallies across the country that inspired parents and community members to become recess monitors for their local schools. 

Since then, Rescuing Recess has received 14 nationally-recognized awards for community service, program creativity and effective communication strategies