Is a child's health predetermined by that child's zip code?
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Playworks was recently featured on the HealthyCal blog for our work in Stege Elementary School in Richmond, California. The piece, entitled, “Playworks Helps Kids Make the Most of Recess,” does a great job of illustrating that not all kids’ lives are created equal – some kids come from wealth and resources – others come from neighborhoods fraught with violence and crime-zip codes matter. And a child’s access to health and education can be drastically different based on where she lives. A close partner of ours, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), calls this the social determinants of health –and believes so strongly that health starts where we live, learn, work and play, that they have been helping to fund our ambitious mission for nearly a decade.
RWJF and Playworks agree that no matter where a kid comes from, however, her parents want the same access to health and quality education that kids in other zip codes might have–and that’s where we come in, helping structure playgrounds into fast paced learning labs on conflict resolution, social skills and most importantly, fun and games!
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
According to Principal Eddie Scruggs Smith, most of the 360 students at Stege are students of color: 64 percent African American, approximately 22 percent of the students are Latino, 11percent Asian and about 3 percent of the students are Caucasian.
“Many of our students come from low-income backgrounds,” Smith said, “but it does not affect the fact that these parents of our community want the same thing as parents whose kids are right up on the hill want.“
The neighborhoods where these children live, and its pockets of crime and violent activity can have an effect on the children’s behavior, Smith said.
“It’s because they have to posture themselves,” she said, referring to the tough attitudes and tendency towards violence many students would exhibit on the playground.
Thanks, HealthyCal for the great coverage!
Photo via HealthyCal.