Program Snapshot from Wallace Foundation
Playworks is a national nonprofit that leverages the power of play to transform children’s social and emotional health. In the 2016-17 school year, Playworks will reach 900,000 students at 1,800 schools in 23 U.S. cities directly and through professional training services. Playworks changes school culture by leveraging the power of safe, fun, and healthy play at school every day, creating a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills. The vision for Playworks is for 3.5 million kids in 7,000 elementary schools nationwide to experience safe and healthy play every day by 2020. Playworks offers three models for implementation: the Playworks Coach model, which brings a full-time, year-round Playworks Coach into the school to lead recess activities and classroom games; the Playworks Team Up model, which utilizes an on-site coordinator who provides monthly guidance to the school’s recess team; and Playworks Pro, which provides ongoing training to school staff, paraprofessionals, and afterschool caregivers so they can support fun, prosocial play at their school or program. In all models, activities occur every day during recess for the duration of the school year. A typical Playworks session engages children in a physical activity from one of the following six categories: ice breakers, readiness games, tag games, cooperative games, playground games and sports, health and fitness, and energizers.
Areas of Focus (as stated by program) Physical, social, and emotional growth