Create a culture of play with Playworks’ evidence-backed services.
When kids play well, they discover the joy of physical activity. They resolve conflicts and learn to get along. They come back to class ready to learn. Studies show that recess matters: a thoughtful approach to recess improves children’s physical health and social and emotional learning.
Playworks helps you make sure all kids get to play well, every day. We partner with schools to support play every day onsite, offsite, and remotely.
Create a culture of play before, during, and after school with a skilled Playworks Coach.
For Title 1 schools; 50% subsidized.
Playworks Coach is subsidized 50% for Title 1 schools. Join 10 Title 1 schools in the Chicago area.
Equip your recess team through support and modeling from Playworks TeamUp. Or, explore other consultative options.
For all schools.
Join 3 schools in the Chicago area.
Sharpen play facilitation skills with Playworks Pro workshops for your staff.
For schools and youth organizations.
Join schools and organizations across Illinois.
Safe Return to Play Training
When transitioning back to school buildings after remote or hybrid learning due to COVID-19, a safe and healthy recess is especially critical for building connections between a community of peers and adults, healing from the distress of the pandemic, rebuilding a sense of belonging, and academic success. Playworks’ new Safe Return to Play training is a two-hour training experience that will help your team understand how to practically transition your space and equipment so every child can experience safe and healthy play every day.
The training will cover:
- General Outdoor Space Guidelines
- General Indoor Space Guidelines
- Equipment Options
- Play Structure Options
- Games to play with students safely
November 8, 2022
Play Contributes to Safe and Healthy Communities ›
Play is an essential part in building safe and healthy communities where children feel connected and invested in the world around them. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Play is so important to optimal child development that it has been recognized by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of…
October 24, 2022
Kids are Still Recovering from Pandemic Losses. Play Can Help. ›
As pandemic school closures recede into memory for many schools, the impacts linger. Kids, educators, and families are still working on creating a new normal. One working paper from the Calder Center found that during the 2020-2021 school year, students whose schools went virtual for the longest stretch of time lost around half a school…
September 30, 2022
How Social and Emotional Support Rewires Brains—and Schools ›
“Better recess creates better learning. Happier children learn better.” – Victoria Grau, Recess Supervisor, John Garvy Elementary School, Chicago, IL “Happy kids learn better” may seem like good common sense—but it is also good neuroscience. Kids who easily return to a baseline sense of calm throughout the day have better learning outcomes. But staying calm…
Playworks partners with schools with a wide variety of needs. Transform your school with a full-time Playworks coach, collaborate with an onsite Playworks recess expert to empower your playground team, or build capacity for positive play with Playworks professional development. Learn more about Playworks Coach, Playworks TeamUp, and Playworks Pro.
Playworks programming is designed for elementary schools. We do work with K-8 schools if the focus is on the lower grades.
Energetic, fun, and consistent are three words that capture Playworks coaches, site coordinators, and certified trainers. A common thread among our staff is a commitment to and passion for supporting the health and well-being of children. All coaches, site coordinators, and certified trainers 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.
Playworks is responsible for training and overseeing the work of each coach, site coordinator, and certified trainer. We assign each school site a program manager, whose role is to supervise and support coaches and site coordinators. Program managers are responsible for overseeing and maintaining program quality at each school site and serve as the primary contact person for school administrators.
In the Playworks Coach service, one full-time, caring and consistent Playworks coach implements our entire program at each school.
With Playworks TeamUp, Playworks partners with elementary schools by providing a part-time on-site coordinator to teach, model, and empower a sustainable recess program.
Playworks Pro provides professional training and ongoing development to existing school staff, paraprofessionals, and after-school care providers to create and maintain a great recess and play environment throughout the school year.
We provide a number of opportunities for school staff and kids to experience distance learning, including:
- Curation of Playworks resources: Site Coordinator will provide staff with guidance and support resources for virtual game implementation and self-directed play activities for students
- Live “Virtual Play” Sessions: Site Coordinator will lead virtual CGT and JCLP sessions with students
- Consultation Webinars: When in-person trainings are not possible, Playworks will provide school staff with professional development and support for in-person and distance learning play-based programming
Get in touch for a free recess consultation. Find out which service is right for you.