Editor’s note: The following letter was recently written by a fourth and a fifth grader at St. Anthony Park Elementary School to members of the St. Paul School Board and Superintendent Joe Gothard.
Dear Dr. Gothard and St. Paul School Board members,
Do you remember when you were a kid?
Imagine waking up to a foot of snow and running downstairs to your parents telling you it was a snow day. You were so excited because you could go outside and play with your friends.
Well that’s not so true now.
Nowadays, waking up to a foot of snow and running downstairs to your parents telling you it is a digital learning day instead of a snow day. You were mostly excited but a little bummed because you just wanted it to be a normal snow day. You didn’t want to stare at a screen for hours at a time.
We would argue that snow days are better because of their health benefits.
The first reason why we should have snow days is too much screen time. In the article, “Are Snow Days Over?” in the Mpls/St Paul Magazine, “According to a study done by AACAP, they found teenagers spend up to nine hours a day in front of screens. Snow days give students a day to recharge and refresh. Brain breaks are needed and snow days provide a perfect opportunity for that.” This proves that kids spend too much time on screens every day. Snow days give you time to play outside and reset.
The second reason why we should have snow days is because of our mental health. In the article, “Are Snow Days Over?” in the Mpls/St Paul Magazine, according to professor Faith Miller, “burnout and stress are at an all-time high as a result of the pandemic. About half of Americans feel like they don’t have enough time to do everything they want. Snow days provide that opportunity for obligations to be temporarily abandoned. This type of discretionary time is linked to happiness in life satisfaction.” says Faith.
The third reason why we should have snow days is that it gives kids a chance to rest and get extra sleep.
In the article, “Six Ways Snow Days are Good for Your Health” in the Real Simple magazine, Abigail Wise says, “Getting the right amount of shuteye (seven to nine hours for most people) can, among its plethora of benefits, make us less stressed, help maintain a healthy metabolism, make us happier and boost immunity.”
This shows that getting the right amount of sleep is important to stay happy and healthy.
So, as you can see, we have outlined some strong reasons why we should have snow days instead of distance learning. On snow days you have more sleep, less screen time and get a mental recharge.
As you’ve probably noticed, we’ve attached a petition to this letter with lots of signatures including lots of kids, teachers and even the principal. And we hope you agree now.
Norah (4th), X. (5th)
St. Anthony Park Elementary