By Hyun Namkoong

Sen. Louise Pate (R-Mount Olive) spoke Wednesday in a legislative education committee meeting about encouraging children to move away from computer and television screens and go out outdoors to play. He is one of three primary sponsors of Senate Bill 315, legislation that would allow children to use school playgrounds after school hours.

kidsplaying copy“In this day of getting kids to put down their iPads and iPhones and get out and do some exercise, I think we’re missing a great area of resources that can be used for that very thing after school hours. And that is the outside playgrounds of our public schools,” Pate said.

“If they’re not used for other purposes after school hours are over, with certain conditions, they should be open to the kids. After all, the taxpayer paid for the facilities,” he said.

Sen. Angela Bryant (D-Rocky Mount) spoke in favor of the bill, saying it would be a positive step in fighting the state’s obesity epidemic, especially for small towns and counties that don’t have the money to build recreational departments.

The bill passed out of the Senate Education Committee and now goes to the Senate floor for consideration.

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Hyun graduated from the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings Global School of Public Health in the health behavior department and she worked as the NC Health News intern from Jan-Aug 2014.