Yes, there are Play Haters lurking out there, but here are some shining examples of Play Heroes—leaders who are taking innovative steps to promote play. It's comforting to know that for every outrage, there's also a cause for celebration. Join us in giving kudos to:
- Bellingham Christian School principal Bob Sampson, who canceled classes on March 24, but not because of inclement weather. Actually, it was for precisely the opposite reason. “Yes, It’s a Sun Day! Wahooo,” read the school’s website, as reported on eCanadaNOW. “That’s right, school is CANCELED today due to good weather! Enjoy!” We hope other principals take note!
- Arizona schools chief Tom Horne, who is taking on childhood obesity. Though his proposal to require schools to provide at least three hours of physical activity per week (through both P.E. classes and recess) was not passed by state lawmakers, we’re happy to report that Horne is not giving up.
- New Jersey State Senator Shirley K. Turner, who has written a bill to require a public school district to provide a daily recess period for students in grades kindergarten through 5. Says Turner, “recess affords a child the opportunity to practice skills such as cooperation, communication, and creativity, and a break from the day’s routine improves attention, focus, behavior, and learning in the classroom.” New Jersey residents can write to the Senate Education Committee to ask that they approve the bill.
- Don Scott—an investment banker, former chairman of the Hollywood Central Park coalition, and former chairman of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce—who is spearheading efforts to “cap” freeways in Los Angeles. The idea is to cover portions of freeways with “a planted concrete lid,” according to The Architect’s Newspaper, which will “knit together previously disparate neighborhoods, theoretically creating cohesion and larger-scale community gathering places.” And of course, creating more outdoor playspaces for children!
Is anyone in your community a Play Hero? Let us know!