Let’s Get Out and Play!

I don‘t know about you, but with all of this beautiful weather, I’m having a hard time staying at my desk for any length of time.  I want to get outside and PLAY! One of my favorite things about living in Florida is that we can enjoy being outdoors almost year round.
We are so blessed here at LCS! Very often when I am touring visiting families around our campus, one of things I get to brag about is our beautiful playground facilities.  Did you know that many schools in our area do not have adequate playgrounds and recess is not a part of the typical daily routine for their young students?  When I think about my elementary years, so many of the memories I have are in the context of playing on the playground.

According to an article in Scholastic Magazine, tracking trends back in the 1980’s, recess has been scaled back and in some cases cut altogether in many schools around the country.  Due to pressures created by the No Child Left Behind program, the expectation for schools to show academic progress began to force teachers to squeeze as much instruction time into the day as possible.  Additional issues weighing into this cutback are safety, lack of supervision and inadequate playground facilities.  Francesca Zavacky, project director for the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, says “It comes down to dollars.  The focus is not on the well-rounded student.”

Numerous researchers claim that studies do not support the notion that test scores improve by keeping students in the classroom longer.  However, there is plenty of evidence showing that recess benefits children cognitively, emotionally, socially and physically.  Some of the specific benefits are that students:

  • Are less fidgety and more on task
  • Have improved memory and more focused attention
  • Develop more brain connectors
  • Learn negotiation, problem solving and critical thinking skills
  • Exercise leadership, teach games, take turns and learn to resolve conflicts
  • Are more physically active before and after school

Along with so many other blessings, we can be grateful for God’s generous provision that enables us to have amazing outside venues on our campus – three playgrounds, Turtle Town, Faith’s Forest and the Amphitheater.  So, next time you are on campus take a stroll by one of our beautiful outdoor spaces and enjoy the laughter of our students as they experience just another benefit of our school mission to educate the whole child  in the light of God’s Word.

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