Increase ACPS Kindergarten Recess/Playtime
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This petition asks the Albemarle Country School Board to increase the amount of daily kindergarten recess/playtime from 30 minutes to 75 minutes. The current policy does not account for the developmental differences between kindergarten and upper elementary students. The Albemarle County School Board Handbook, page 20, currently states that, "Elementary students have a total of 30 minutes of recess per day."
Research from The Alliance For Childhood finds that:
1. Increased playtime creates dendrite growth between neurons. The number of dendrite connections improves creative thinking abilities.
2. Increased playtime is the exercise that enhances mental and social skills.
3. Increased playtime enhances the abilities of children at each end of the learning spectrum.
4. By age ten, children who learned to read at age five have no academic advantage over those who learned to read at age seven.
5. Children are not ready for formal academics any earlier than they were over seventy years ago.
6. Germany and Finland have achieved world class results by rejecting that U.S. kindergarten model and embracing play based early childhood education.
7. High ranking European countries begin first grade at age seven, thus encouraging lengthy and playful childhoods.
8. The academic skills gained in kindergarten are merely short term gains without long term benefits.
9. Without developmentally appropriate kindergarten playtime, there are long term emotional consequences for children of all abilities
10. Children in today's kindergarten experience a double edged sword: they endure a pushed down curriculum without the appropriate playtime to relieve the stress of that curriculum.
The Alliance for Childhood states...
"Kindergarten children are rushed at developmental peril...We have conclusive evidence that children in play-based kindergartens have a double advantage over those who are denied play. They end up equally good or better at reading and other intellectual skills, and they are more likely to become well-adjusted healthy people."
Please sign this petition to encourage ACPS to embrace a healthier view of childhood and education.
The Coalition For Childhood And Adolescence