Fort Wayne, IN – Playworks, UnitedHealthcare, and Fort Wayne Community Schools (FWCS) are partnering to support the health and wellness of kids through play.
Playworks Indiana began working with Fort Wayne Community Schools (FWCS) in 2018, providing professional development training and support services to help staff ensure that all kids are engaged in safe, healthy and inclusive play every day. Faced with new challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, FWCS reached out to Playworks requesting training and support for the 16 schools Playworks had yet to provide services to.
All FWCS elementary schools will receive Playworks new digital subscription service, Keep Playing, that takes the guesswork out of incorporating play into the school day. Each week, school staff receive useful, turnkey resources that can be implemented remotely, on the playground, or in the classroom. Additionally, with the support of UnitedHealthcare, Playworks will be able to provide additional trainings and consultations for FWCS educators throughout the year.
“The partnership with Playworks has been incredible,” said John Key, the Director for Elementary Education at FWCS. “The FWCS staff members who participated were highly impressed with the training and appreciated how quickly they were able to implement the activities on the playground. More importantly, the staff members are able to use their training to help children feel as though they are part of a “team” while reducing conflicts between children. A strong community is critical to our success and partnering with organizations like Playworks helps us move towards our goal of educating all students to high standards.”
UnitedHealthcare saw an opportunity to support FWCS’ commitment to their students’ health and wellness and more than doubled Fort Wayne Community Schools’ investment allowing Playworks to expand their support, this year, to all elementary schools in the district.
“The American Journal of Public Health found that students who develop strong social and emotional skills are twice as likely to graduate from college and more likely to have a full-time job by age 25 than their peers. The Playworks program addresses this need by emphasizing the power of play to encourage social and emotional learning, along with lifelong skills like empathy, leadership, and conflict resolution,” said Charlotte MacBeth, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Indiana. “We are proud to support Playworks and the Fort Wayne School District to provide an opportunity to build a fulfilling future, through fun, for our kids.”
This school year, Playworks Indiana will serve more than 100 schools and youth serving organizations throughout the state with a combination of direct service, professional development and online resources. Playworks pivoted quickly in response to the COVID pandemic to ensure that all services could be continued virtually as well as in-person with significant modifications. “Safe, healthy, intentional play is critical, especially now”, says Jo Yocum, Vice President of Field Operations at Playworks. “UnitedHealthcare understands the power of play to impact the health and wellness of the whole child and the whole school. We appreciate UHC’s investment and are thrilled to continue our work with FWCS, a district deeply committed to the success of their students.”
About UnitedHealthcare UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the health system work better for everyone by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. In the United States, UnitedHealthcare offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1.3 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. The company also provides health benefits and delivers care to people through owned and operated health care facilities in South America. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified health care company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @UHC on Twitter.