From the principal laughing his way around the bases at the recess kickball game, to the Junior Coach who has found her voice by helping others on the playground, to the parent who stood up and demanded her child have a safe and fun recess… Every day around the country, Playworks feels the impact of our recess rock stars. These individuals (and sometimes companies), make it possible for children to unlock their power on the playground.
Stuart L. Brown
“For us to live in complex social groups, play lies at the core of creativity and innovation. Play prompts us to be continually, joyously, physically active, combating obesity and enhancing overall health and well-being. It can interrupt the damage done by chronic stress and even give the immune system a bounce.”
—Stuart Brown, MD
“I think everything from the playground had an impact on me and future life.”
Raised by his grandparents in the Philadelphia area, Kevin Carroll spent endless hours at the neighborhood playground where he found his "calling" - a red rubber ball. His subsequent pursuit of sport and play (aka his "red rubber ball") plus his love of books has led Kevin to becoming an author, a speaker and a social change agent.
Michelle Burnett-Herndon is the captain of the ship at the James J. Chittick Elementary School. She does an amazing job every single day of setting the tone with the children and teachers creating a warm, welcoming community that encourages everyone to feel comfortable learning and trying new things.
Playworks Pro Client
“You can’t get in front of the problem from behind the desk.”
—Peter Wilson, Assistant Principal
With about 300 kids out on the pavement playground at a time, recess at Burbank Elementary was “scary.”
“It was chaos. Kids were everywhere. We have this blue game wall, but the kids didn’t really know what to do so they used it for soccer. They’d have one kid stand against it to play goalie, and everyone else would just pepper him with soccer balls,” explains Assistant Principal Peter Wilson. “It was a Lord of the Flies mentality and a lot of kids would get in trouble or get hurt.”
Playworks Pro Client
Crystal Knight is dedicated to developing inclusive schools with a positive school climate. When she came to Bellevue Elementary and Stony Point Academy in Santa Rosa, CA, she saw a playground with students grouped by race, gender and ability. In her role as a CalSERVES AmeriCorps member, Crystal was charged with developing a new recess program that was to be a model for the county. She did so much more.
Crystal and a team of playground supervisors participated in a four-day recess workshop, lead by Playworks National Trainer Kristina Walden. A few weeks later, Kristina visited Bellevue Elementary and was amazed. “Crystal really took to our core values and the strategies we provided and put it into action. Bellevue’s playground looks like a Playworks recess,” Kristina said.