Remember how great it was to play in the water and mud when you were a kid? A group of parent volunteers at the Miguel Hidalgo Elementary School certainly does.
About 60 parents at this Brawley, Calif. school were on hand recently to help the students play, splash and slide in water on the playground as a way to celebrate their accomplishments this year and to chill out before standardized testing takes place in early May.
School Principal Celia Santana was quoted as saying the event was intended to help the kids feel special, which is especially meaningful before testing begins.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about parent volunteers helping kids celebrate before or after standardized testing. In fact, one of our Parent Group of the Year winners from a few years ago hosted a pre-test pep rally that included a hot-air balloon demonstration to give the kids a boost.
Standardized testing, and the resulting stress and anxiety it can produce in kids, is getting more attention lately. A New York City school principal recently posted a letter written by a parent who asked how schools could bring unnecessary stress into kids’ lives. In another recent article, a parent expressed concerns about the trend to have kids opt out of testing, suggesting that even though these tests may be far from perfect, not participating can have big consequences.
Standardized testing is such a complex issue that it will not be resolved (to everyone’s liking) anytime soon. So, in the meantime, maybe a school like Miguel Hidalgo is onto something. Parent groups can help kids have some fun to celebrate completing the tests or just help them blow off some steam so they can better cope with the tests.
Let them feel the joy of simply splashing in the mud. You know you loved it!
Any ideas on how to help kids with test stress? Let us know!