Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Response to the Daily News on Kids Playing Hooky to Watch the Inauguration

The Daily News wrote a piece today titled Many likely will skip school in favor of President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration to which I replied with what follows. I would be interested to hear your thoughts, here or there…

InnovativeEdu Jan 13, 2009 9:44:39 AM
I recommend parents don’t have kids play hooky. Schools should be places where kids not only learn in the classroom but also connect to the real world. I encourage parents to work with their schools to make this an educational, real-world experience for their children. I know many schools across New York City are not only planning exciting ways to watch the Presidential Inauguration, but they are also developing engaging lessons ideas to do so. I have captured some of these ideas on my blog at
Help Students Pay Attention to the 2009 Inauguration with Engaging Lesson Ideas. I encourage parents to connect and partner with their children’s teachers and/or administrators to see what type of activities they have planned and to suggest some ideas that they may have yet to realize.


  1. Being part of history is exciting. Sharing the historical moment with your children adds to the excitment. Parents should reach out to their child's school and find out what they have planned and join their children at the school level. It sends the message that school is important, that it is a place to learn and that you care enough to make yourself available. Keeping them home doesn't send the right message about school and its educational value.

  2. At 217, we're having the students watch the inauguration over live Internet feeds set up in various locations in the building.

    When I was in the 10th grade, the teachers allowed us to watch the Challenger shuttle launch. This was the first time a civilian was sent into space, and it was a school teacher at that. As most of us remember, the shuttle exploded, and history was made in a different way.

    I think that seeing the event in school made it something special. We usually don't watch television in school, so the event was given extra significance. When I discuss it with other people my age, they often have a similar memory. I remember news events I watched at home, but not nearly as vividly.

    I hope the students who watch the event on Tuesday feel inspired by it, and that having been allowed to watch it in school helps them preserve the memories.