Playworks for every kid

Playworks Coach: Building Play as a Cornerstone of the School Day

Every day, in hundreds of schools around the country, our Playwork coaches are hard at work at their school. Beginning before the first bell rings and continuing until well after the last has silenced, our high-energy, trained rock stars make the most of every minute to build a healthy school community through play.

Play provides an unparalleled opportunity to foster the physical, social and emotional development of our kids. Since 1996, the Playworks Coach program has worked on-site with low-income schools, engineering a powerful system of play that is making a daily difference where it is most needed. With energy and imagination, high fives and hula hoops, Playworks builds play and physical activity into a positive school environment, offering opportunities throughout the entire day. Our work focuses on five key areas:

Recess Time

Armed with balls, cones, jump ropes, and enthusiasm, Playworks coaches take to the blacktop or hardwood every recess, taking advantage of the amazing teaching and learning opportunities inherent in recess and bringing healthy, inclusive play that moves kids off the sidelines and engages them in the action.

Junior Coach Leadership

We build play into leadership through the Playworks Junior Coach program, which encourages teams of students to work together to learn games, fair play and positive conflict resolution and to teach these skills and lessons appropriately to their classmates.

Class Game Time

Between recess bells, Playworks coaches establish a weekly schedule of class game time activities, providing an inclusive, consciously cooperative approach to introducing sports and physical activity to children. Kids learn basic sports, playground and cooperative games, as well as lessons on physical health and fitness and principles of violence prevention and safety.

Interscholastic/Developmental Sports Leagues

Playworks builds empathy and teamwork through our interscholastic/developmental sports leagues, which teach students the skills of games like basketball, volleyball and soccer. In many cases, these Playworks leagues provide opportunities that students may not otherwise have.

Out-of-School Time Programs

Finally, Playworks builds play into the fabric of the community with our out-of-school time programs, which bring kids together before or after the bells each day to focus on learning and growing. These programs provide students with a solid combination of scholastic support, engaging physical activities and group projects within a consistent community.