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Goal: 20,000 Progress: 8,952
Sponsored by: Creative Kidstuff

"Play is behavior that looks as if it has no purpose," says NIH psychologist Dr. Stephen Suomi. "It looks like fun, but it actually prepares for a complex social world."

Numerous studies have evidence suggesting play has considerable benefits for kids including boosting brain function, increasing fitness, improving coordination and teaching cooperation.

As pressure mounts for schools to pass ever-changing tests that only measure the academic aptitude of their students, anything that does not directly correlate with the test's metrics are being abandoned.

Often, creative peripherals like music and art classes are the first to get cut. Formal physical education classes follow. Even recess, that hallmark of childhood for so many of us, is on the chopping block in the short-sighted, panic-driven need to "teach the test."

Cutting these creative outlets aren't doing kids any favors in the long term. The US Play Coalition reports in "A Research-Based Case for Recess" that "minimizing or eliminating recess can negatively affect academic achievement, as growing evidence links recess to improved physical health, social skills, and cognitive development." The American Academy of Pediatrics states that it "believes recess is a crucial and necessary component of a child's development and, as such, it should not be withheld for punitive or academic reasons."

It's time the Department of Education took a stand for our kids. Tell Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to make creative play a priority in the curriculum of all American public schools. Our kids deserve it!

Sign Here






Dear Secretary of Education Arne Duncan,

I am alarmed at the growing push to cut creative play from the curriculum of American public schools.

In the rush to ensure compliance with new and ever-changing testing standards for our students, short-sighted administrators are cutting where they can in an effort to squeeze in more time to "teach the test."

Unfortunately, the first things to go are often creative peripherals like music and art classes. Formal physical education classes follow. Even recess, that hallmark of childhood for so many of us is on the chopping block.

This does a deep disservice to today's students. Countless studies from reputable organizations like the NIH, US Play Coalition, The American Academy of Pediatrics, and Psychology Today all support the idea that children learn best when they have the opportunity to engage their creativity and learn through play.

The US Play Coalition found in a study entitled "A Research-Based Case for Recess" that "minimizing or eliminating recess can negatively affect academic achievement, as growing evidence links recess to improved physical health, social skills, and cognitive development." The American Academy of Pediatrics stated that it "believes recess is a crucial and necessary component of a child's development and, as such, it should not be withheld for punitive or academic reasons."

Albert Einstein once said, "Play is the highest form of research." We agree wholeheartedly with his assessment.

Please, be an advocate for today's students and make sure that creative play is a priority in the curriculum requirements for all American public schools.

Sincerely,

Petition Signatures


Jan 11, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 3, 2017 Bethany Gregg
Jan 2, 2017 Leslie Pfost
Jan 1, 2017 Aleasa Crary
Jan 1, 2017 Daisy Mancia
Jan 1, 2017 Ken Stein
Jan 1, 2017 Howard Cohen
Dec 30, 2016 Cindy Leichner
Dec 28, 2016 Martina Rimbaldo
Dec 27, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Dec 23, 2016 Karl Zimmerman
Dec 22, 2016 Pamela Dugan
Dec 22, 2016 Cheryl Bohn I have always believed in the value of play. There should be a balance between work and play and not just for small children.
Dec 22, 2016 Kay Buhler Babies need to be babies and shouldn't start formal education so early. Seven is a good age to start and then kids still need time to be kids so they should get play time at school and no homework or at least very little so they can have family time too.
Dec 22, 2016 Teresa Ryan
Dec 22, 2016 Cindy Copeland
Dec 22, 2016 Olga D Grovic as a special education teaching assistant, i personally see the benefits of "movement breaks" being added into the day of a special needs student(s). to demand of a child to sit still at desk or table essentially all day is not only unfair, it is inhuman
Dec 22, 2016 JEAN PELTON IT IS BETTER FOR CHILDREN TO BE OUT SIDE IN THE FRESH AIR,IT RELAXES THEM ,SO WHEN THEY GET BACK TO CLASS THEY CAN FUNCTION BETTER
Dec 22, 2016 Frostianne Sewell Follow Finland, our kids deserve to be happier and healthier. They are our next generation, and what we are doing now in our schools isn't working!
Dec 22, 2016 Laurie Obrien
Dec 22, 2016 Kim Holec
Dec 22, 2016 Oriel Eaton
Dec 22, 2016 Sandra Folks The so called standardized testing is not working. The school systems are still churning out children who cant read, write, or do math. Calculators, and computers do all their thinking. Simple subtraction can't even be done by most under 30 years old.
Dec 22, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Dec 22, 2016 Val Lies
Dec 22, 2016 Carolyn Amory
Dec 21, 2016 Jennifer Smith Physical activity is CRITICAL to our ability to learn and to perform at peak levels. Please read 'Brain Rules' by John Medina, especially section 2 on exercise. Brain research proves we learn better when we move more. Bring back 1 hour of recess per day!
Dec 21, 2016 Nancy Johnstone As a retired teacher, I support more recess for students. Especially for kids with ADHD, this is so important to allow them to study during class time.
Dec 21, 2016 Elizabeth Moreno
Dec 21, 2016 David Seppa As a former elementary teacher, I'm quite confident that kids can learn. But how about the adults?
Dec 21, 2016 Zara Gennert
Dec 21, 2016 Vasiliki Kyriakakis By letting our children enjoy childhood instead of making them mini adults they will be happier and more successful.
Dec 21, 2016 Judith Emerson My grandson had a terrible teacher one year who restricted the class's recess time and I, personally, witnessed his struggle to stay on task. He began daydreaming, just to escape to his own abilities of expression and his grades suffered that year.
Dec 21, 2016 Brian Robinson Change is difficult for people, even professionals. Let's hope they listen and learn.
Dec 21, 2016 Sandra Baker Please, get this information to all educators in the US
Dec 21, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Dec 13, 2016 Norma Lopez RESPECT ✊🏼 THE RECESS IN THE SCHOOLS TO IMPROVE EDUCATION KIDS NEEDS TO RELAX ARE YOU WANT TO TREAT THEM LIKE ROBOTS OR SLAVES TOO YOU 'RE OUT OF YOUR MIND
Dec 9, 2016 Nirmala Jagoo-Lalla
Dec 8, 2016 Janet Griffitts
Nov 30, 2016 Loli Diaz
Nov 29, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Nov 29, 2016 Danielle Marques
Nov 27, 2016 Jennie Long
Nov 25, 2016 Samantha Klatt
Nov 24, 2016 Margaret Ehrlich Exercise is so important to learning! I know from research data and from being an early childhood educator.
Nov 23, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Nov 22, 2016 Nancy Cox
Nov 22, 2016 Rebecca Maclean
Nov 22, 2016 Kristin Vyhnal
Nov 22, 2016 Jill Duft

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