Playworks is the only nonprofit organization in the country to send trained, full-time coaches to low-income, urban schools, where they transform recess and play into a positive experience that helps kids and teachers get the most out of every learning opportunity throughout the school day. These coaches become part of the school community, working full-time to provide organized play and physical activity through the five components of the Playworks program. They organize games and activities during recess, provide individual class game times and run a leadership development program during school hours. They also run Playworks tutoring and physical activity programs and developmental sports leagues during after school hours.
Classroom teachers in schools that partner with Playworks report they reclaim up to 36 hours and more of class time each year, simply by providing a fun and appealing structured recess that replaces the drama and discipline potential with inclusive and engaging physical activity.
While nearly everyone agrees that kids need time to play and expend energy during the school day, most principals, teachers and school nurses agree that recess times can be the toughest part of the day. Recesses are often the flash point for playground fights, discipline referrals and injuries.
In working with hundreds of low-income schools throughout the country, however, Playworks has found recess to be an untapped opportunity to increase physical activity among students. Since nearly every school in America allows some recess time each day, this time can be an unsurpassed chance to not only get kids active, but also to teach a number of valuable life lessons such as cooperation, conflict resolution and teamwork. – less