Updates from Alliance for Childhood
“Race to Nowhere”: An Important Film
In this 2010 documentary, filmmaker Vicki Abeles presents disturbing evidence of the price children are paying for America’s obsession with test scores, “standards,” homework, and getting into the “best” colleges and the resulting narrow definition of school achievement. Interviews with children, parents, and experts like pediatrician Kenneth Ginsburg give voice to what has been until now a silent epidemic of stress, depression, cheating, and self-destructive behavior. At the same time, we are robbing children of time for unstructured play and their natural joy in learning—and coming close to destroying the profession of teaching.
An additional problem is the sleep deprivation experienced by many teens, in part because of long hours of homework. The Race to Nowhere staff is mounting a campaign about this problem. See article in the Washington Post.
Screenings of “Race to Nowhere” are taking place throughout the country. To find one and learn more about the film see www.racetonowhere.com.
Play Coalitions Are Sprouting
The Alliance was instrumental in the founding of the first play coalition in the U.S. nearly five years ago in New York City. And it has helped in the creation of the U.S. Play Coalition at Clemson University, the Alamo Play Coalition in San Antonio, and the new Bay Area Coalition for Play, in partnership with the Mills College School of Education. Our friend Cynthia Gentry has founded the Atlanta Task Force on Play, and other friends are talking about creating similar groups in Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C. Let us know if you want to get involved.