Play is so critical to children’s healthy development that the United Nations has declared it a right of every child. Yet school principals report that 89% of discipline problems occur during lunch and recess – hot spots for bullying and fights. So Playworks partners with schools, districts, and after-school programs throughout the DC region, working to replace the chaos of the playground with healthy, inclusive play. On-site coaches create a safe, active recess by establishing clear areas for games, communicating shared expectations, and teaching conflict resolution. Fourth and fifth graders receive training to serve as junior coaches, while non-competitive after-school sports leagues offer positive team experiences. Playworks also provides consultations and professional development to school staff, building their capacity to sustain a healthy recess culture and ensure their students’ safety and success. And the benefits to the 8,100 local students they touch are manifold: less bullying, better behavior, easier transitions to the classroom, and more physical activity. Quite simply, play works wonders. Let’s support those who make it inclusive, safe, and, of course, fun.
Headquarters: DC-Ward 6
Where They Operate: DC-Ward 1; DC-Ward 2; DC-Ward 4; DC-Ward 5; DC-Ward 6; DC-Ward 7; DC-Ward 8
Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11)
Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Latino/Hispanic; Other
Population(s) Served: Students
Schools They Work In: Barnard Elementary School; Brightwood Education Campus; Bruce Monroe @ Parkview ; Bunker Hill Elementary School; Hendley Elementary School; KIPP Promise Acadamy ; J.C. Nalle Elementary School; J.O. Wilson Elementary School; Neval Thomas Elementary School ; Malcom X Elementary School ; Mundo Verde Elementary School ; Patterson Elementary School; Powell Elementary School; School Without Walls PCS; Turner Elementary School ; Tyler Elementary School; Watkins Elementary School; West Education Campus
Awards & Recognition
2013 Stanford University/Mathematica Policy Research Randomized Control: Playworks schools have less bullying, children feel safer, teachers recover more instructional time, children engage in more vigorous physical activity at recess.
TrialPlayworks Founder and CEO Jill Vialet was recently (Nov. 2011) named one of Forbes’ top 30 social entrepreneurs, those who are tackling the world’s most intractable problems.
In June 2012, Jill was honored by the Women’s Sports Foundation as one of “40 Women Who Have Made a Significant Impact on Society After Playing High School or College Sports.”
- Teaching kindness and resolving conflict through recess
Fri Feb 21 2014, FOX
Playworks DC is trying to change how recess works and what it means for academics too.
- Playworks Coaches Put the Fun Back in Recess at 14 DC Schools
Wed Jan 15 2014, The Washington Post
Playworks champions recess not only for health benefits, but for the opportunities it creates to teach children conflict resolution skills.
- $3 million or higher
- The current budget for Playworks is: $1 million to $3 million
- $500k to $1 million
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