This grant would equip the Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes at Tahoe Lake Elementary with the items needed to promote frequent creative play for our students. The TK/K team feels strongly that activities that encourage our young students to play is a key component in their success as lifelong students.
The importance of play to young children's healthy development and learning has been documented beyond question by research. Yet play is quickly disappearing from kindergarten and early education as a whole because of increased emphasis on literacy and other academic skills.
Research shows that children who engage in complex forms of socio-dramatic play have greater language skills than non players, better social skills, more empathy, more imagination, and more of the subtle capacity to know what others mean. They are less aggressive and show more self-control and higher levels of thinking.
Play is a major stress reliever. Children that are given a chance to initiate play and exploratory learning, become highly skilled in the art of self-education and self-regulation.
The TK/K teachers at Tahoe Lake are committed to developing the whole child by providing creative play opportunities to our students, while still maintaining high academic standards.
Source: "Crisis in Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play in School" by Edward Miller and Joan Almon.
We believe that increasing creative play in the TK/K classroom will, in turn, lead to greater academic and emotional success in all of our students.
Research that compared 50 play-based classes with 50 early-learning centers found that by age ten the children who had played in kindergarten excelled over the others in a variety of ways. They were more advanced in reading and mathematics and they were better adjusted socially and emotionally in school. They excelled in creativity and intelligence and oral expression.*
*"Crisis in Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play in School" by Edward Miller and Joan Almon
The academic schedule for TK/K has been reworked at Tahoe Lake starting with the 2018/2019 school year to allow for creative play on a daily basis.
All items requested in the grant will be used by the TK/K team.
According to our principal, no other funding sources are available.