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Time for recess? Time for fun, healthy and active play!


Time for recess? Time for fun, healthy and active play!

Believe in the power of play to bring out the best in every kid.

Kids need to play. Playworks creates a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills. We're changing the culture of school through safe, fun, and healthy play at school every day. And we need you to make it happen. Choose play.

Why Playworks
Traditionally, older children pass down games and take the lead in modeling a culture of play for younger children. Our experience is that diminishing opportunities for unsupervised play in our society have left kids with less knowledge of traditional recess games, less experience resolving conflicts independently, and fewer strategies for making play fun, inclusive, and safe enough to avoid trips to the Principal’s office. When grown-ups or older students in leadership positions introduce basic rules and set the tone, children are better equipped to make play work. Schools that may have previously banned running or tag, or discontinued recess altogether, are more comfortable letting kids be kids, knowing that they have the tools they need to take responsibility for their actions.

How Playworks
We provide services for elementary schools and youth-serving organizations around the country. Our services include:

Playworks Coach: transform your school culture with a full-time Playworks coach.
Through our full-time, year-round Playworks Coach model, we provide elementary schools with a full-time recess coach, throughout the school day and after school. Our coaches enhance and transform recess and play into a positive experience that helps kids and teachers get the most out of every learning opportunity.

Playworks TeamUp: collaborate with an on-site Playworks recess expert to empower your playground team.
The Playworks TeamUp service partners with elementary schools by providing an on-site coordinator to teach, model, and empower a sustainable recess program. A fusion of Playworks Coach and Playworks Pro, TeamUp provides a single site coordinator to four partner schools. The site coordinator spends a week each month at each school leading, supporting, and empowering the recess team - including a lead recess coach - to create a safe, inclusive playground for all students.

Playworks Pro: build capacity for positive play with Playworks professional development.
The Playworks Pro service provides professional training and ongoing development to school staff, paraprofessionals, and after-school care providers to create and maintain a great recess and environment for play throughout the school year. With hands-on professional development workshops and collaborative consultation, Playworks Pro provides step-by-step guidance and tools needed to create a positive recess environment for students. Beyond the playground, Playworks supports out–of–school time staff with techniques to create more inclusive and healthy play opportunities for the youth in their programs.

The impact

Every year we survey the staff at our partner schools around the country to see Playworks through their eyes. Here’s what they reported this year:

  • A decrease in bullying
  • An improvement in overall school climate
  • A reduction in disciplinary incidents
  • More participation in academics
  • An increase in students’ abilities to focus on class activities

In addition, Stanford University and Mathematica Policy Research spent time on our playgrounds studying our program. In 2013, they published a randomized control trial, considered the gold standard for research, that found that compared to other schools, schools with Playworks experienced less bullying and exclusionary behavior, an increased perception of safety, more physical activity, better behavior and more attention in class than schools without the program.

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team]


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Monday, September 12, 2016 - 23:00