by Guest Author
Playworks can help your school develop a thoughtful approach to recess. By leveraging the power of play, your school can transform the social and emotional health of students.
Playworks is a leading national nonprofit that plans to partner with 2,000 schools in the 2017-2018 school year to ensure 1 million kids experience safe and healthy play every day. We are changing school culture by leveraging the power of safe, fun, and healthy play at school every day. We create a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills. Our vision is for 3.5 million kids in 7,000 elementary schools nationwide to experience safe and healthy play every day by 2020.
Playworks launched in Georgia in July 2014 with support from the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation and Georgia SHAPE. For the 2017-2018 school year, we will serve 8,750 children daily in our 15 partner schools in Metro Atlanta and Athens, GA.
This year we are partnering with McNair Discovery Academy in DeKalb County, and Dr. Brian Bolden the school’s principal recently said, “I just wanted to reach out and say thank you for the phenomenal job the Playworks team is doing already. Last year in August we had well over thirty discipline referrals that resulted in over 10 suspensions. This year we have had only 1 suspension for the entire month of August. Coach Hop is incredible and so is the program. Looking forward to great things this year!”
In 2013, Stanford University and Mathematica Policy Research released results of a rigorous, randomized control study of Playworks, considered the gold standard of research. The study found that as a result of Playworks programming students were engaged in more vigorous physical activity, schools experienced significantly less bullying and children felt safer. Additionally, at Playworks partner schools, teachers gained, on average, 23 hours of instructional time, students behaved better and were more ready to learn.
Playworks offers four levels of integrated services. Playworks Coach, where a full-time professional coach delivers our four-component program every day of the school year to our partner schools. Still in the pilot phase, Playworks Junior Coach Corps is where a part-time professional coach delivers recess support and facilitates a leadership program in their partner school. Playworks TeamUp includes a Playworks staff person rotating between four schools, spending one week per month at each school throughout the school year, providing technical assistance and ongoing consultation. We can also provide Playworks Pro, expert professional development for school personnel and youth serving organizations, tailored to meet the needs of each school/organization in order to give them tools to deliver healthy play every day.
Playworks matches each of our partner schools in Georgia with the service that best builds its capacity to use the power of play out the best in every kid. The common thread running throughout all services is a skilled adult–whether supplied by Playworks or trained by Playworks–who teaches children the social emotional skills necessary to succeed in the classroom and in life. Our Junior Coach leadership program, available to older elementary grade students participating in Playworks Coach, also gives children the tools they need to be successful leaders. To be eligible for Playworks Coach or Junior Coach Corps, schools must serve populations where at least 50 percent of students are eligible for free and/or reduced lunch. Our current school partners average 87% free/reduced lunch.
Playworks just launched Recess Lab to help principals, teachers, and kids re-discover the power of play. It is a platform that provides school communities with access to Playworks resources to help jump start creating safe and healthy play on the playground. Also within the Recess Lab is the Recess Checkup. We developed a 3 minute online quiz designed to help schools identify strengths and uncover areas for improvement on their playground. Principals, Teachers and Parents are able to take the short quiz and it will provide specific resources to help improve their schools play pain points.
If you want to learn more about Playworks Georgia programming please contact Adam Goslin, Program Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in hearing more about Playworks Professional Development please contact Janelle Averill, Account Manager, at Janelle.email@example.com.