A beautiful afternoon, and my sixth graders were gazing out of our classroom window yesterday, taking it all in and (I could tell) clearly yearning for those summer days when they where able to enjoy beautiful days outdoors, any time they so desired. We set aside our social studies project (decoding the Declaration of Independence…hmmm) to mull over this change in fortunes. Bit by bit, they began sharing things they missed about the summer…which turned into a conversations about things that (they feel) they are being forced to miss. Among their grievances, non-plastic playgrounds that made playing exciting, daring even, playgrounds with equipment like:
And school lunches that included this:
My kids were feeling very put upon…very “they are taking away the joys of childhood….NOOOOO!!!!” – which brought to mind this poem:
They’re Taking Chocolate Milk Off the Menu,
<!– (from Slice of Moon) –>
I hear other junk food is at risk:
brownies, pastries, name it,
they’re removing it, the only chance
fifth graders have at happiness.
The only thing I looked forward to
was chocolate milk, especially after
getting yelled at by Miss Paniotoo.
I once poured a carton over her “in”
box, watched the ink bleed down
the equation-filled pages, blurring
the names of my classmates,
never told anyone, not even Donna Nagy,
and now they’re taking it off the menu.
What will our kids be forced to do?
(You can read the rest of the poem here).