Public schools are playing a vital role in helping families through the current crisis and in the recovery period to come. The pandemic and school closures have made it clearer than ever that public schools are the center of our communities and our children’s education.Read more
Forty-three states, including Illinois, have closed K-12 schools for the remainder of the year. Mass closures and a sudden switch to crisis schooling from a distance have prompted reflections on the crucial role of schools for children and communities. It’s also prompted speculation about what changes might take place longer term as a result of the closings and the pandemic.
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Play is fundamental to the human experience. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by 190 nations, recognizes play as a basic right for children.
Play is a crucial component of education and development, enhancing a child's social, physical and emotional health along with academic achievement and abilities.
Illinois has no requirement for time devoted to play during elementary school, including no requirement for outdoor recess.
Illinois Families for Public Schools is currently working to pass SB3717, a bill that would require public schools to provide a 60 minutes of daily play time for all students in kindergarten through 8th grade. You can download a fact sheet about the bill here.
We are thrilled to have the support for this bill from Access Living, Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, Chicago Teachers Union, Defending the Early Years, Free Forest School, Illinois Optometric Association, Illinois Federation of Teachers, Legal Council for Health Justice, National Association of Social Workers - IL Chapter, Northern Illinois Nature Preschool Association, Parents 4 Teachers and the Sierra Club - IL Chapter.
Help us pass this bill
- Sign up below to get action alerts and to connect with others in your district!
- Contact your IL state senator and ask them to sign on as a sponsor of SB3717.
- Download a 4-to-a-sheet b&w flyer to print and spread the word.
- Don't want to print? Text this image to friends and neighbors.
- Download images to print as stickers (for Avery 88206) and share:
Resources: why we need play in school
- Let the Children Play: How More Play Will Save Our Schools and Help Children Thrive. Sahlberg and Doyle. 2019
- Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life Gray. 2013
- Power of Play: How Spontaneous, Imaginative Activities Lead to Happier, Healthier Children. Elkind. 2007
- A Child's Work: The Importance of Fantasy Play. Paley. 2004
- "Kids Need Play and Recess. Their Mental Health May Depend on It." Hynes. Ed Week. Aug. 2018
- "From Playing to Play Advocacy: An Interview with Olga S. Jarrett " Journal of Play. Winter 2019
- "A Research-based Case for Recess." Position paper from the US Play Coalition, American Association for the Child’s Right to Play (IPA/USA) and the Alliance for Childhood. 2019.
- FreshEd Podcast: Let the Children Play (Pasi Sahlberg and William Doyle) Dec 2 2019
- WBAI's Talk Out of School: "Whole Child Education and the importance of play" Feb 5 2020
- KQED Mindshift: "Childhood As ‘Resume Building’: Why Play Needs A Comeback" Sept 3 2019