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This past Monday night I chose to be the voice of my young students. In front of school committee members, the superintendent, and 300 or so parents of my school community, I spoke on behalf of all East Providence elementary school children. I asked administrators to reverse their decision to ch...

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The Impact of Too Little Unstructured Playtime

Posted by: Connie McCarthy on Aug 27, 2010 in Motor Skills, Kindergarten, Kids Learning, Health and Fitness, Extracurricular Activities, Elementary School, Connie McCarthy, After-School


Connie McCarthy
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This past Monday night I chose to be the voice of my young students.

In front of school committee members, the superintendent, and 300 or so parents of my school community, I spoke on behalf of all East Providence elementary school children. I asked administrators to reverse their decision to change recess, and to keep our recess exactly as it has been. After a three and a half hour meeting…I am still unsure of the outcome!

It appears now that recess will be a structured event, orchestrated by the classroom teacher. Yet, another piece of the day that someone is telling children what to do.

This is not just happening in my school community. It’s happening everywhere in a child’s life, in every town across America. Between sports, music or dance lessons, crafts, etc. children are programmed and over scheduled.

Creativity and spontaneity are fast becoming extinct. The satisfaction of a child’s enthusiastic “I did it!” has been replaced by the often asked, “What do I do now?” No wonder some children lack self-esteem. Confidence comes from solving problems, and taking pride in a job well done. It is not something that can be taught. It must be experienced!

Let’s reverse this current trend and give an important part of childhood, free unstructured play, back to our children!

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Comments

  1. Posted by - Teresa on Aug. 31, 2010

    Ms. McCarthy, you are so right-on. This has been an issue of worry for me for some time. Thank you for speaking up about it and for advocating so passionately for the children. My hat is off to you.
    How can we help? What can we as parents, citizens, do about this? Surely if we stand together we all can make a difference.
  2. Posted by - carol williams on Aug. 27, 2010

    Thank you for speaking up for those too young to do so.

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