The Chicago Afterschool Development Working Group, under the leadership of David Cherry and Julie Lenner, is a grassroots group of afterschool, education, civic, and nonprofit leaders and practitioners working together to strengthen the voice of impact of afterschool development in Chicago (www.allstars.org). Their work inspired this poem.
I Watch In Awe As Children Play I watch in awe as children play; To see them run beneath the sun. Laugh at the crazy things they say; Life is carefree and full of fun. Creative minds that will amaze, In formal games or make believe; Resourceful in so many ways They achieve what they can conceive. How simply they can make a toy From articles within their reach; Amuse each child as they enjoy, Lessons that teach and shape their speech. Some fix objects that are broken, For they have the proclivity To solve problems, be outspoken In their childlike activity. I watch in awe as children play; Especially as they excel; Imagination on display With stories used to show and tell. They don’t see walls they cannot scale Or the boundaries of a box. They do not think that they can fail, For they are keys in search of locks. And boundaries don’t need the lines, For they will color as they see The picture they want to define, Is the masterpiece it will be. Quietly they engage in thought; To solve puzzles and figure out The answers that were never taught; While never focusing on doubt. I watch in awe as children play, The purity of inquiry; The innocence that they convey; To move with boundless energy. Their cognitive development; The social skills that are increased; In their natural element Where intuition is released. They will play it forward if we, Allow them the chance to explore The land beyond the boundary That will refresh and teach them more. As they sit alone or in a group, Playful adventures never cease. They will jump ropes not jump through hoops; Exertion is what gives them peace. I watch in awe as children play, One continuous exercise; We try to regulate their day, With structure, but they improvise. Intuitive they get things done, For they are focused on results, That’s measure by the kind of fun, That could teach something to adults. Copyright © 2016 Orlando Ceaser www.watchwellinc.com