September 22, 2009

Today in Play: One email saves recess

Smiling kidsSome happy news to start the day: One email from one concerned parent led to recess being reinstated for a school in Massachusetts! Here's how it happened: School officials, feeling the pressure to bring up test scores to meet No Child Left Behind guidelines, decided 15 extra minutes of classtime for Kindergarteners would help the situation. (Lots and lots of evidence contradicts this notion, but I digress.) But they didn't inform the parents, wanting to make the change quietly. One parent took notice, though, and started emailing other parents, who raised a fuss and got the school to change the policy back to what it was. Hooray!

You can read more about this story here. Suffice to say, one person's voice can make a big difference!

"Make exercise fun and your children will reap the rewards"
Once recess is back on the table, that still leaves some time left in the recommended hour a day of physical activity kids need. A recent article has some helpful tips for getting kids to enjoy exercising. Check it out (WalesOnline)!

And one more article on the importance of play
Just for good measure, here's one more great article trumpeting the importance of play. A columnist writes about the sad state of affairs when kids grow up not knowing how to play classic playground games, and draws from some great research in the process. I love this bit in particular:

Studies linking childhood play to adult development are powerful enough to have the American Academy of Pediatrics stating that self-directed play is important for children to learn how to be “free agents, not pawns in someone else’s game.’’

In particular, the academy recommends that a significant portion of that play not be run by adults. Child-driven play builds “individual assets children need to develop and remain resilient.’’

Going to the Congress of Cities?
According to a recent press release, attendees at the Congress of Cities in San Antonio will have an opportunity to join KaBOOM! in building a playground for San Antonio children in just one day. The build will take place on Friday, November 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the West End Park. You can learn more here (National League of Cities).

"Today in Play" is a regular feature on the KaBOOM! blog, featuring the latest news on play and KaBOOM! media mentions.