One of the lessons we’ve learned over the years is that an excellent Playworks program is almost always one that is well supported by the school staff and community. Success is found at schools where principals and teacher put in the extra effort to make sure student leaders have the tools for success, daily schedules allow time for play, information is communicated with the entire community and coaches are not only supported, but valued as a member of the school.
We love our school partners and go through extra efforts to thank each and every parent, teacher, recess supervisor and principal who support us. And every year, we pick out one principal at a partner school who goes above and beyond to make sure her/his school allows time and space for play. This year, we are honoring the 2012 Most Valuable Principal Jossette Buendia of Bennett Elementary in Detriot, Michigan.
For Jossette Buendia, a positive elementary school experience is key to a positive future. And play and physical activity are critical. Principal at Bennett Elementary in Southwest Detroit, Jossette has created a learning environment that embraces play and community as much as rigorous academics. A tireless community leader and Playworks supporter, Jossette has opened her gym for league games and trainings, provided opportunities for parents and students to take field trips together and has supported programs to include parents in the healthy community of Bennett.
“We need to care about fun and play, because children need to love being here at school,” Jossette says. “We are primarily about education and critical thinking, but kids need laughter and play to be happy, burn energy and learn life skills.”
Most Valuable Principal
Bennett Elementary, Detroit, Michigan