The behavior of kindergarten and first graders in Texas has significantly improved with the LiiNK Project.
In order to be effective, education in America must evolve in synchronicity with culture. We acquire new technology and knowledge which can help cultivate a better learning environment. Unfortunately, one of the pitfalls of modern society is that our reliance on technology has lowered our ability to concentrate for long periods of time. Children are no exception, in fact, they perfectly exemplify how much our world has changed in the last decade— surely you’ve seen a toddler operate an iPad.
Children are also not exempt from the influence of the pharmaceutical industry in America. More and more parents are choosing to combat the symptoms of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) by administering daily medication to their child. Currently, it is quite easy for parents to solicit a diagnosis and prescription for their child. The remarkable simplicity of this system detracts from other, natural and preventative solutions.
One school may have the answer to helping kids concentrate in class. Eagle Mountain Elementary School in Fort Worth has seen a major improvement in kindergarten and first graders by increasing recess time. Today reports,
“…the Eagle Mountain Elementary in Fort Worth, Texas, has been giving kindergarten and first-grade students two 15-minute recess breaks every morning and two 15-minute breaks every afternoon to go play outside. At first teachers were worried about losing the classroom time and being able to cover all the material they needed with what was left, but now that the experiment has been going on for about five months, teachers say the kids are actually learning more because they’re better able to focus in class and pay attention without fidgeting.
Now, three other public schools in Fort Worth have started using this strategy, which is apart of the LiiNK Project. The LiiNK approach involves increased physical activity, character development and restructuring the school day. “You start putting 15 minutes of what I call reboot into these kids every so often and… it gives the platform for them to be able to function at their best level,” said Debbie Rhea, a kinesiology professor at Texas Christian University who created the project.
Schools have also changed in regard to nutrition standards, and are seeing the benefits of providing students with better alimentation. Cutting out sugar, dairy, and processed foods has shown to be important in improving ADHD symptoms through dietary changes. This is especially relevant for children, as they have a high exposure to these types of foods. One successful program for ADHD is the Feingold Diet, which primarily works by eliminating additives, preservatives, sweeteners and foods containing “salicylate”.