Amidst disheartening news of park closures, canceled recess periods, rising childhood obesity rates, and growing play deficits, we occasionally come across uplifting stories of people coming together to rally for more play. The victories may be small, but they are proof that play advocates and communities can win. Here are three healthy spoonfuls of chicken soup for the soul:
Playgrounds beat out parking lots
The city council of Bangalore, India recently retracted its proposal to convert six playgrounds into parking lots. The council caved after a public outcry from residents, neighborhood associations, and NGOs. The Times of India has proclaimed, “Children of Bangalore will continue to have their fundamental right, after all.” Read more.
Fourth-graders lobby for more recess
Students at Mount Washington Elementary in Louisville, Ky. prepared a report for a class project to convince school administrators to lengthen recess time. They researched the importance of physical activity and compared their recess time—10 minutes—to that of other schools in the district. When the students presented their findings, the school council discovered that it wasn't enforcing its own wellness policy, which called for longer recess periods.
Recess time is now extended... by five whole minutes. Though this still isn't nearly enough, it's still heartening to see kids putting in the legwork to make a well-informed case for play and physical activity! Read more.
Summer park program survives budget cuts
A popular summer program for children at Portland, Oregon's Brooklyn Park was slated to be slashed as part of widespread city budget cuts. But the community stepped up and said, "No!" Community members started a blog, organized meetings, sent letters, and made phone calls. Their actions paid off—they just received word that the program will in fact return this summer. Read more.
Does your community have any victories to celebrate? Please share!