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Update and exciting news about Defending the Early Years

On March 23, 2012 in the post Keeping the Joy of Learning Alive – for Children and for Teachers, I wrote about a new project called Defending the Early Years (DEY). The mission of DEY  is to “encourage educators to speak out about current policies that are affecting the education of young children.”

Earlier this [...]

Keeping the Joy of Learning Alive – for children and for teachers

The conference In Defense of Childhood: Keeping the Joy of Learning Alive did not disappoint. It was energizing and inspiring to meet so many other early childhood educators who are working hard to stay true to what is best for children in this age of high-pressure, scripted curricula and high-stakes testing. What I love best [...]

The Rightful Return of Recess

Did you see this headline earlier this week in the New York Times?!?

Recess is Making a Comeback in Schools

Recess, which has been squeezed out of so many school days, is starting to gain traction once again. Recess has become part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign, and national organizations such as [...]

Inspired by Teachers

Wow! There is busy . . . and then there is BUSY! This has been a BUSY few weeks. Wonderful, though. Beginning with the powerful Rally to Save Public Education in Cambridge, MA (see previous post); continuing with a wonderful visit to my former school, Mission Hill School in Roxbury, MA;  then a quick [...]

Dear Michelle Obama:

The good news is, someone on the White House Task Force for childhood obesity was listening. This week, Michelle Obama sent an email releasing their report, and among the many recommendations, was restoring recess!

Recommendation 5.4: State and local educational agencies should be encouraged to promote recess for elementary students and physical activity breaks for [...]

Empowered by the movement

Incredible. Inspiring. Energizing. Those are just a few words to describe the 7th Annual Consuming Kids Summit in Boston this weekend. Hosted by the unflagging Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (you may remember they were forced out of their home after taking on Disney and Baby Einstein), the success of this summit is testimony that [...]

Milk Media Madness

Is it too much to ask that our school children eat a school lunch without being marketed to? I don’t think so. A few months ago, I wrote about Milk Media and their Milk Rocks! campaign. At that time I was upset about the Bakugan website advertised to my 5 year-old son on [...]

The good, the bad and the Common Core Standards

I am back from Boston and the MassAEYC conference and have had time to think about some of the points David Elkind made in his keynote address. Dr. Elkind is the author of many respected books, such as The Hurried Child, Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk and most recently, The Power of Play.  [...]

Agents of change

Today I write about two unique opportunities. Your voice can help make this country a better place for children and play. First, as I’ve written recently, the Common Core Standards are now available for public comment at (until April 2nd). The current draft for kindergarten includes:

“Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to [...]

Empowered by People

It is easy to feel small and powerless when corporations like Disney bully and try to silence watchdogs and advocates such as Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (see story in yesterday’s NY Times). The small staff at CCFC works tirelessly on a small annual budget of $250,000, protecting childhood from corporate encroachment, yet have been [...]