Kindergarten Play

New York has led the way in showing the nation what not to do when it comes to education reform.  Recently, this article made the rounds.  It spotlights a New York school’s decision to cancel the annual year-end kindergarten show because of concerns that the kids were not going to be sufficiently ready for college and career if they took time away from their studies to put on a play.Rosa Parks Play  Of course, that’s ridiculous.  And, as the article suggests, it is emblematic of the fact that “[k]indergarten (and even preschool) has increasingly become academic — at the expense of things such as recess and the arts — in this era of standardized test-based school reform.”

Fortunately, we have teachers in Berkeley who understand the value of creative play and project-based learning – in all grades, but particularly for our youngest students.  Our three kids have all had the same, wonderful kindergarten teacher, Lynda Arnold, a veteran of BUSD and herself a Berkeley parent.  Every year, Teacher Lynda directs an elaborate kindergarten play, often with the participation of all kindergarten classes at Rosa Parks.  This year’s production of “Really Rosie” involved over 100 students and three performances, and it brought down the house.  (You can see photos and videos on the Rosa Parks Facebook page.)

Lynda’s “Director’s Note” on the back of the program is worth reading and I’ve pasted it below:

Lynda's note