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Why It Matters That Poor Kids Don’t Have Time to Play


Why It Matters That Poor Kids Don’t Have Time to Play

Livia Gershon

Last year, Allyn taught a second grade class in a high-poverty school in Saint Petersburg, Florida. The school had been in the papers for poor test results, and it was pushing to change by adding extra time for reading instruction.

“We were very strictly monitored how each minute of our day was spent,” said Allyn, who asked me to use only her middle name. “I think we were in the spotlight so much from all the media that they were just super strict about how our day was supposed to go.”


There’s a theory of Time Perception, which explains that the way an Eighty Year Old person perceives the passage of a Year, is the same as the way that an Eight Year Old perceives the passage of a Summer.

Eight hours a day is a heavy burden for a child, to spend inside, at a desk.

That it’s spent at a desk goes back to Civil War times when the American Educational System was designed as “busy work”, not especially suited to the Energy of Children.

“We are all Born Scientists, Curious and full of Wonder”" is a the essence of a quote I’ve heard from Neil DeGrasse Tyson, where he further explains that it is regimented out of us by our Educational System.

That the Poor are the ones most Victimized, as per this article, is because, as in all phases of their lives, they lack the financial wherewithal to Kick Back at their Oppressors, with no level playing field to compete on.

The Ethical Education of our Younger Generations has been usurped by the same malicious forces that have seen fit to undermine this once promising country on almost every other level, and facet, of its existence.


20 minutes a day is a victory? Lawsy, not even enough time to choose up teams.


Play time for a child is inherent to their mental development even more-so than to their physical development.

There is a well known, and many author’s quotes testify to it, remedy among writers for writer’s block: walking. Walking employs both sides of the brain, or bilateral thinking and movement. So bilateral free body movement frees the mind, particularly of value to those in need.

Also well known today and can be part of child play time, “green time”, a term used by psychologists for our time in nature, is twice as valuable/beneficial to someone with AD/HD, than someone non-AD/HD (and probably many other learning differences/ mental conditions/life conditions as well). It dissipates stress and inflammation, promotes physical/mental homeostasis, and walking/playing, even at recess, can be highly thought provoking and meditative.

So to deny it to a child is simply mental and physical imprisonment–nothing less.