Stories from the Playground

  1. Updates

Playworks Denver is serving nearly 5,000 students in the Denver, Aurora and Northglenn areas this year.  Read one of the Great Stories from Coach Natalie at Global Village Academy-Northglenn and see the impact Playworks is having on schools and students throughout Colorado.

I got to know my first-grade friend, "John," really well when his older sister joined the Playworks basketball team. John would stay after school and help out at our practices. He would hand the basketballs to me and lead the girls in their stretches.  I noticed John started to come out of his shell and really felt comfortable teaching and leading the team.  He came to the games when he could and before I knew it, he was repeating “Respect the Game, Play Hard, and Have Fun” in Class Game Times. 

One day, John came up to me at recess and asked if he could help me.  I was short a Junior Coach (JC) at recess that day so I sent him to the Jump Rope and Hula Hoop area.  I asked him if he would help run games for the students there, just like he did at basketball practice.  His face lit up and he loved the responsibility.  John lead jump rope games the rest of recess for K-2nd grades.

The next day, John came outside with a Playworks logo on his coat; He had printed the logo off the computer and super glued it to his coat. He asked if he could lead a game again and, of course, I let him.

John comes outside everyday now and asks where I would like him to help out and lead games.  I gave him a Junior Coach shirt, officially making him a 1st grade JC.  Now, students K-2nd all want to earn a Junior Coach shirt at recess.

I saw John’s mother the other day and had the pleasure of telling her how well John has been doing at recess. She was so thrilled to hear the news. She told me that last year he was always getting into trouble and struggled in the classroom, she was so happy to hear some positive news about her son. She also told me that all he talks about when he goes home is recess, Playworks, and how he wants to be a coach when he grows up!

More Updates


group of adults assembling kits
group of adults assembling kits

February 2, 2022

Partner with Playworks – Teacher Appreciation Kits ›

Playworks strives to engage with corporate partners and their employees as they play with purpose and experience the importance of our mission – as safe, healthy play and connectivity to our communities proves to be as important as ever – for youth and adults.  This opportunity is a fun and tactile way to engage corporate…

screenshot of recess video
screenshot of recess video

Aurora Public Schools Teams up With Non-profit to Strengthen Kiddos Social & Emotional Skills

November 29, 2021

Partnership with Aurora Public Schools to Strengthen SEL Skills ›

The browser you are using does not have support for iframes. Please upgrade to the latest version to see this content. Aurora Public Schools is partnering with Playworks to increase opportunities for kids to gain critical social and emotional skills through play. This new support is available to elementary school students at 32 elementary schools…

August 24, 2021

Playworks Founder Jill Vialet Publishes ‘Why Play Works’ ›

Play brings out the best in every kid. Over the course of 25 years since Jill Vialet founded Playworks, she and her colleagues, as well as researchers and play experts, have demonstrated precisely how and why play works to help kids learn and grow in the most positive and healthy ways. Jill gathered stories from people…