Playing is Learning and Leading in K-1

By Betty Chen

From the very first day I was in Ms. Overby's Kindergarten and First Grade, or K-1, class at Club Boulevard, I knew I was somewhere special. Students flowed from counting on the carpet to working together in literacy stations, and the joy and learning in the room was palpable. I saw students stamping out the word "love" and giving each other high-fives; students would clamor to go to library and give Mrs. Overby and Mrs. Ellis surprise hugs. Over the course of the semester, I realized that K-1 was a place where students were learning and loving learning. One day, I asked a student in passing to get back to work, and her response was: "We're not working. We're playing!" In that moment, I knew that K-1 kids were set on a journey of lifelong learning—because for them, what Ms. Overby was teaching in K-1 was that learning was playing!

I want to say thank you to every single K-1 kiddo for welcoming me into their classroom. If it were me, I would have been nervous with a camera in my face, but these kids were pros! As I spent more time with these kids, I found they were funny, thoughtful, genuine, and hard-working, and I'm so excited for the adults they're going to grow up to be. I also want to thank Mrs. Overby and Mrs. Ellis for being fantastic about a strange woman in their classroom snapping pictures; they were some of the best people a student photographer could hope for! The pictures and show below is entirely due to the life and vibrancy in their classroom—thank you for giving me the opportunity to capture it!