While students were enjoying their summer vacation this year, the movement to green school grounds and connect children with nature took an important leap forward with the adoption of a new California state resolution that encourages school districts to design and construct schoolyard green spaces and use them to teach academic curricula outdoors. Authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting of San Francisco (D), the Living Schoolyard Month resolution (ACR-128) adopted on June 16, 2014 also establishes an annual, statewide celebration of school grounds to be held each year in May.
Watch out, Silicon Valley. Our generation’s next tech hub might be in a much windier city. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has partnered with Code.org (a computer science education nonprofit) to help bring computer science classes to every public school in the city, from kindergarten to high school.
Eleven national civil rights groups sent a letter Tuesday to President Obama, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and congressional leaders saying that the current standardized test-based “accountability system” for K-12 education ignores “critical supports and services” children need to succeed and discourages “schools from providing a rich curriculum for all students focused on the 21st century skills they need to acquire.” The groups make recommendations on how to revamp the system in a way that would improve educational opportunity and equity for students of color.
October was an exciting month for IPEMA! We launched a new website and brand refresh for the Voice of Play, our long-standing education and advocacy initiative to promote the value and benefits of free, outdoor play. The new website includes a cleaner, simplified look with fresh, rich content.
There’s something odd happening in many big American cities. They’re becoming “kid deserts.” A new divide is emerging, between kid-friendly cities and cities of single adults, which could mean bad things for urban economies.
Two separate celebration events will be held next week to recognize a pair of elementary schools that are the first in Oklahoma to be awarded physical fitness grants. On Tuesday, Dewey Elementary School and Jane Phillips Elementary School in Bartlesville will welcome a variety of dignitaries to commemorate their selection to participate in the Project Fit America program. Jane Phillips Medical and ConocoPhillips have committed funds that will provide curriculum, training and equipment as part of a local health initiative, JPMC officials announced recently.
The National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) thanks AIG for presenting the 2014 STRIVE Organization of the Year Award. This award recognizes organizations that embrace a "kids first" approach, evidenced by their implementation of recognized best practices and policies that protect kids by promoting responsible health and safety within their organization.
A whopping 68 percent of Americans think there should be a law that prohibits kids 9 and under from playing at the park unsupervised, despite the fact that most of them no doubt grew up doing just that. What's more: 43 percent feel the same way about 12-year-olds. They would like to criminalize all pre-teenagers playing outside on their own (and, I guess, arrest their no-good parents).
Studies have shown that it helps, top education officials have recommended it, and now doctors are officially saying the same. On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a policy statement recommending that middle and high schools delay the start of class until after 8:30 a.m. About 40 percent of high schools in the country start earlier than 8 a.m., a phenomenon that has negative effects on teens’ safety, well-being and education, according to Dr. Judith Owens, the director of sleep medicine at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C.