On Wednesday, Feb. 5, Eastview Education Center participated in the universal Global School Play Day.
Kim Deeran and Jaclyn Partridge are kindergarten teachers who thought the play day was such a beneficial time for their students.
Partridge had heard of Global School Play Day and brought the idea to the Monticello education center.
“It’s a global holiday that I found out about online encouraging everyone to participate,” Partridge said. “So, I brought it to our principal, and he thought it was a great idea.”
The students were able to participate in their normal activities such as lunch and gym, but for the remainder of their time in the classroom they were free to play.
Each kid was encouraged to bring a toy from home that they were willing to share with others. Kids got to share their toys with the class and talk about why they brought it.
Deeran was pleasantly surprised by how well the play day went.
“It’s been the most beautiful day,” Deeran said. “They’re sharing their toys, they’re using their words, they’re just playing together in a kind way.”
Partridge said when she stepped back and let her kids really play she saw a great deal of empathy from her students.
“They look out for each other and they watch to make sure everyone has something to play with,” she said. “Something I’ve seen a lot of today is when a student sees another kid without a toy, they’re inviting them to play.”
The Global School Play Day website gave some information on the history of the special day of play.
“February 4, 2015, was the first annual Global School Play Day for students in schools around the world. In year one, over 65,000 students participated! Over 177,000 students took part in 2016. In 2017, over 283,000 kids celebrated Global School Play Day. In 2018, over 385,000 students from 58 nations participated. In 2019, just the 5th year of the event, 535,690 from 72 nations played. In 2020, 563,283 students from 75 nations,” the website stated.
This was the first year that Monticello participated in the event and school staff is already looking to do it again next year.
“Play is kind of something that’s slowly disappearing,” Partridge said. “They learn through play, they learn creativity, they learn how to be good friends, they learn how to take turns, and it’s just a great way to bring awareness to parents and teachers that play is important.”
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