Children at the Frank M. Silvia Elementary School were invited to spend time during their school day engaged in play on Global School Play Day, February 1, 2017. According to Peter Gray of Psychology Today, children are designed, by nature, to spend huge amounts of time playing freely. That's how they develop social, emotional, and physical skills, and it's how they become creators and innovators. It's how they learn to take charge of their own lives. Today's children have less opportunity to play than their parents had and far less opportunity than their grandparents had, and we are seeing the consequences. Rates of childhood anxiety, depression, and suicide are at all-time highs; creativity is declining, and so is empathy. With every passing decade, school and homework have occupied increasingly large portions of childrenís lives. And school itself, with its focus on high-stakes testing and its sacrificing of recess, has become a less playful place. This is happening not just in the United States, but throughout the world. The Silvia School was one of hundreds of schools across the world to take part in "School Play Day, spending about 45 minutes throughout the day using their imaginations and improving team building. Click here for a six-minute video of some of the activities. Click here for photos of the what the school did last year. For more information, contact School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard at 774-319-0107.

(Top row) Kindergarten teachers Anne Marie Silvia and Andrea Curran oversee two classes of children as they play with snow brought in from outside as Partners School Wellness Coordinator and Lead Physical Education Teacher Terry Mahjoory, right, join in the fun. (Rows two and three) Students play with fresh snow brought in from outside and engage in a variety of playful activities with board games, toys and blocks. (Rows four and five) Third grade teacher Sherri Carvalho watches as students work to stack cups using string, a rubber band, and teamwork. 

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