Research shows that play is an integral part of the learning process for kids. Unfortunately, learning and play have both suffered due to social distancing measures, compounding pre-existing disparities along racial lines in both access to recreation and educational outcomes. A survey released in March by the CDC found that the shift to remote schooling associated with COVID-19 caused widespread stressors for children. The good news is that research also shows that play is one of the many ways kids naturally cope with stress and anxiety. Now that schools are going back to in-person learning, how can schools use play to improve student well-being, now and in the future?
This panel brings together leading researchers and educators to discuss how prioritizing equitable play can help students process a challenging year, gain critical SEL skills, and support learning goals.
Moderator: Jackie Mader, a multimedia editor & early ed reporter at the Hechinger Report.
1) Alison Perkins-Cohen, Chief of Staff, Baltimore City Public Schools Systems
2) Alexa Sorden, Founding Principal of Concourse Village Elementary School in NYC
3) Amon Milner, Associate Professor of Computing and Innovation at Olin College and Director of the Extending Access to STEM Empowerment (EASE) Lab