Here is a breath of fresh air for Philadelphia which has seen its share of public school closures. The following is from the Philadelphia Declaration of Play which I am adding to my website under early childhood. Check them out and cheer!
The Philadelphia Declaration of Play is an ongoing collaborative project created by local advocates, mental health professionals, educators, and physicians in defense of play in the lives of children. Despite a century of research on the developmental needs of children, the physical, psychological, educational, and social well being of our children is declining. Children and adolescents are experiencing unprecedented rates of depression, anxiety, aggression, obesity, inattention and hyperactivity. One of the major symptoms of this cultural crisis is the disappearance of free play. Play is essential to every dimension of healthy childhood development. The development of the brain, body, mind, soul, and their interconnections, along with the ability to relate to others, all happen through free play. Learning. creativity, pleasure, hopefulness, mastery, and the regulation of stress rely on the healing and natural resource of play.
It is urgent that we join forces and forge alliances to promote a healthier quality of childhood for now and for the future.