With the new school year starting, and as a retired out-of-school time educator for over 34 years, I’m hoping for more educators and parents to recognize and appreciate the importance of expanding on the school day, not extending the school day. Out-of-school time is for expanding a student’s world. Not doing worksheets and other mundane activities.
Although out-of-school time programs operate nationwide in many capacities, disagreement about which aspects of these programs are beneficial for student achievement still remains.
However, there should be no question that PLAY is a critical segment of child development.
Unfortunately, the word PLAY has become a “four-letter” word.
PLAY allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength.
PLAY is STEM and STEAM.
PLAY is important to healthy brain development. It is through PLAY that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them.
Send your kids outside to explore, and God forbid, let them PLAY.
How about after-school, everyday kids are required to go outside and PLAY; No technology, no homework, no adult direction, just PLAY. Even if only for 20-30 minutes a day?
Let’s call it something different. How about we call it:
“YALP Amelioration Curriculum”
“All children in grades K-8 are required to participate in a minimum of 20 minutes per day in YALP Amelioration Enrichment Activities.”