On April 25, the FCS Chamber Singers traveled to Pacific Union College in Napa Valley to participate in the Golden State Choral Competition — our first time ever competing in this prestigious event. FCS is honored to announce that our very own FCS Chamber Singers placed second at the invitation-only competition and received the award for outstanding choral diction (text pronunciation). This year’s overall winners were Monte Vista High School in San Ramon. A hearty congrats to them!
In addition to two songs of their own choosing, every one of the seven invited choirs performs one common piece, to provide a better comparison between festival participants. This year, all of the choirs joined together to perform the selected piece, “Vita de la Mia Vita” by William Hawley, during the closing award ceremony. For their two chosen songs, FCS students performed “The Word Was God” by Rosephanye Powell and “Nox” by Elaine Hagenberg.
For more than 25 years, the Golden State Choral Competition has been a leading contest for high schoolers. To be accepted, choirs must submit audio recordings demonstrating a high level of technical musical abilities, often in other languages, while demonstrating artistry in performance practice. The competition’s previous winners and this year’s hosts were Castro Valley High. This year’s event was the first since 2019, due to the pandemic.
Well done, Warriors! All of your hard work and dedication to excellence was well received! Let's keep up the momentum, do our best for the Lord, and in all of our ways acknowledge Him.
At Fremont Christian School, our early education program is intentionally modeled on a play-based framework. Walk outside mid-morning and you’ll hear the joyful shrieks of elementary students engaged in games on the elementary playground or field. Even our secondary students are given time during brunch and lunch to play basketball, volleyball, soccer, or other physical activities on the secondary field, in addition to the option to participate in our school’s athletic teams after-school.
Playtime at school has many educational benefits besides enjoyment and downtime from learning. Current research not only validates the benefits of play but confirms it is essential for a child’s physical and intellectual growth. Here are some of the key benefits of play in your child’s development.
Encourages Brain Development
Some crucial areas practiced during play include social skills, language abilities, learning, and locomotor development (movement). In a research study published in the Brain Research Bulletin, rats who were allowed to play for even 30 minutes daily had increased production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a key molecule involved in both learning and memory. Physical exercise in humans has been proven to have similar positive effects.
Improves Physical Health
It’s already widely known that exercise reduces the likelihood of obesity and unhealthy body mass index (BMI) levels. Studies also show that children who are physically active are more likely to carry that habit into adulthood.
Reduces Stress & Disruptive Behavior
Children who played, particularly under the supervision of a caring teacher, showed a marked decrease in the stress hormone cortisol, according to a 2017 article in Prevention Science. An article published the following year in Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews underscored additional health benefits: “[Play holds] great promise for both preventive and treatment strategies directed at psychosocial problems of children with chronic or life-threatening diseases.” In other words, play helps in the development of children who have serious diseases.
Just as in sports, play helps build relationships and strengthen social skills. Children learn how to work together and communicate in order to achieve common goals. They also form bonds through their shared experiences, whether it’s celebrating the completion of a puzzle or consoling each other over the loss of a baseball tournament.
Promotes Academic Skills
To tie it all back to schooling, playtime also has a positive influence on grades and test scores. Playing pretend improves language skills, while construction play has shown to improve math skills and problem-solving abilities, to name just two examples. “Children who were in active play for one hour per day were better able to think creatively and multitask,” a 2018 study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics stated. The study showed that physical play in 7- to 9-year-olds resulted in increased focus, cognitive flexibility, and executive control (skills that include memory, flexible thinking, and self-control), all of which are crucial for excelling in the classroom.
If all that weren’t enough reason to set aside time for play, remember: It’s fun!
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