Playworks for every kid.

FAQ


How many staff are assigned to a school?

One full-time, caring and consistent Playworks coach implements our entire program at each school. They work Monday through Friday, usually 9am – 5pm, depending on the school bell schedule. Through a selective hiring process, intensive and thoughtful training, and an ongoing support process, our staff is provided with a comprehensive set of tools and resources to help them run successful programs.

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Who are your staff? What are their qualifications?

Energetic, fun, and consistent are three words that capture a Playworks coach. A common thread among our staff is a commitment and passion to support the health and well-being of children. All coaches come to Playworks with prior experience working with children and generally have worked within after-school programs, youth leagues and summer camps, or within other youth service agencies in the nonprofit sector.

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Do we still need to provide supervision at recess periods?

Yes. The role of the coach on the playground is to create safe and inclusive options and opportunities for play. They should not be a substitute for a playground supervisor.

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Does your staff teach PE classes?

No. Our coaches are not Physical Education teachers and are not required to have a teaching credential. Playworks does offer 30-45 minute structured physical activity classes with the teachers. During these Class Game Times, students and teachers are able to learn and practice the games and physical activities that will be provided during recess periods.

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How would you work with our existing after-school program?

The Playworks after-school program model works with the same 20-25 students for the entire school year with the goal of developing a strong, ongoing relationship with students and their families. We have found that our format often complements larger after school collaborative programs by working with those students who would benefit from being a part of a smaller community were they will receive greater attention during the after school hours.

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Do you work with Kindergarten?

Yes. We work with all elementary grade levels through our recess and class game time components.

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Do you work with middle schools or K-8 schools?

Playworks programming is designed for elementary schools, however we do work with K-8 schools if the focus is on the lower grades.

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Do you provide part-time staff?

No. One of the essential aspects to our programs success is that our staff becomes a part of the larger school community. By having a consistent presence during the in-school and after school hours, our coaches build strong relationships with students, families, and staff, throughout the school year.

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Who is responsible for supervising the Playworks staff person?

Playworks is responsible for training and overseeing the work of each coach. We assign each school site a program manager, whose role is to supervise and support a group of 8-12 coaches. Program managers are responsible for overseeing and maintaining program quality at each school site and serve as the primary contact person for school administrators.

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How much does it cost?

Each of our partner schools pays $25,500 per year for the on-site program. This cost covers a trained, full-time coach for the entire school year. We also ask schools to provide a basic set of playground equipment (balls, cones, jump ropes, etc) that usually cost no more than $300 and can be supplemented by existing equipment at the school site.

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How do schools pay for their portion of the program?

The majority of schools use funding within their own school budget. Some schools supplement their funds through external sources such as grants and community support.

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How do schools apply?

School Interest Forms are generally sent out in January of every year. After conducting school site visits we make decisions beginning in March on which schools we will be working with during the upcoming year. Schools which are not selected are placed on our waiting list. If we are currently in your city or region, contact your local Playworks branch. If you are in a potential expansion region, please contact the national Playworks office.

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When can you start?

Playworks' school-based programs are designed to start on the first day of school. We recruit our staff throughout the year, train them in the summer, with programming set to start at the beginning of the school year. We generally do not start up programming mid-year.

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Can I get Playworks in my city?

Playworks is expanding and looking for new cities that wish to bring play our direct service program to their schools and students. To learn more, please contact info@playworks.org. We may not have plans to bring our direct service to your city this year, but hopefully we will in future years.  

Playworks Training provides training to schools and community organizations to cities all across the US, however. Our vision is that one day every child will have an opportunity to play every day. Although it may take some time, we are excited to be a part of a movement to make that vision a reality.

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Is there a minimum or maximum number of participants for trainings?

To keep the trainings interactive, participatory, and highly effective, we generally work with groups of a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 30 people before we bring in a second trainer.

If your program has more than 30 staff members, we recommend providing multiple trainings for smaller groups, or we can send additional trainers to work with the entire staff for a flat fee.

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How much do Playworks trainings cost?

Rates are based on program length, consultation visits, the number of participants attending, and travel fees. Our local Playworks account managers are happy to walk you through every step of our process. To receive a personalized assessment with no obligation to commit, please submit the Training Assessment form and we will get in touch within 24 hours.

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How far in advance should I schedule?

If you have a specific date in mind, we recommend contacting us 8-16 weeks in advance. If your dates are flexible, we can easily accommodate you. Fill out our Training Assessment to schedule a training.

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Playworks is in my city, but it is not in my school? How can I get Playworks in my school?

Playworks coaches work on-site exclusively in low-income schools. To bring Playworks to your school, at least 50 percent of enrollment must be eligible for free and reduced lunches. To learn more, contact the executive director listed on our web site for your city. S/he will be able to provide the information you need to bring Playworks to your school.

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What if my school does not meet our low-income requirement?

If your school does not meet our low-income requirements, we can bring play to your school through Playworks Training. Our training is designed to teach parents, teachers, staff and other adults how to organize healthy and inclusive play and to help youth learn lessons about teamwork, communication and conflict resolution that enable them to return to the classroom ready to learn.

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How do I know which Training services are best for me and my staff?

Our Training program descriptions contains detailed information about our customizable professional development programs that will empower your staff to create more opportunities for safe and healthy play, in and outside of the school day.

If you are looking to start a recess program at your school, Recess Implementation and Recess 360 are great options.

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How will Playworks training benefit the students I work with?

Playworks training provides adults who work with youth the tools to create a safe, healthy and inclusive play program. The benefits kids receive from the environment created by a Playworks trained adult include: an enriched and active recess or play experience, improved learning and academic performance, development of conflict resolution skills and youth leadership, and fewer incidences of bullying.

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Can my school or youth organization schedule a training even if we are not near a Playworks office?

Yes. Playworks trainers travel anywhere and conduct our trainings at your site. Playworks trainers been all over the United States, and have even traveled to Canada and Taiwan!

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Do I have to be directly affiliated with a school to attend one of your trainings?

No. We serve a variety of organizations that work with youth (3-17 years old), including community based organizations, before and after school programs, and parks and recreation departments.

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What other schools and youth organizations have you trained in my area?

Visit  In Your Community to see who Playworks is serving.

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Why should I choose Playworks to train my staff?

Playworks has an effective and unique approach that focuses on allowing adults to experience active, physical play, just as a child would on the playground.  Each workshop addresses various adult learning styles and builds on the core principals of youth development.  Through an experiential learning process every workshop participant will have the opportunity to experience, learn, and discuss the best practices of physical activity, play, and group management that Playworks has cultivated over the past two decades. 

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