Playworks Detroit has received a $280,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The funds will support an innovative school improvement program that transforms school climate with the goal of helping to improve academic, social and physical activity outcomes of low income elementary students in Detroit.
Since 1996, Playworks has been transforming America’s schools, tapping into recess, working alongside teachers, developing student leadership and leveraging team play as opportunities to make an impact in a student’s readiness to learn. It is the only organization in the country focusing solely on maximizing the education impact of recess and play. Playworks serves more than 300 schools in 23 cities nationwide, reaching more than 130,000 students daily.
In 2010, Playworks Detroit was tapped to work with Detroit Public Schools to implement strategies to improve student engagement and reduce conflict to create a more conducive learning environment. “We have served more than 18,000 children since we launched and we are seeing great improvements in the level of student engagement during the school day,” says Playworks Detroit Executive Director Jeannine Gant, “With the Kellogg grant our goal is to be in at least 18 schools in Detroit by the end this year. We are actively seeking school partners, public and charter.”
According to Gant, growing bodies of research indicate students who are more engaged in school attain higher academic achievement. “Increased pressure on schools to deliver annual improvement in standardized test scores often means a concentration of financial resources on classroom staffing and instructional strategies. Our focus is on the wellbeing of the children. If the students feel socially, emotionally and physically vulnerable, evidence suggests they will not be successful,” explained Gant.
To learn more about Playworks, call 313-879-4934.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, established in 1930, supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and southern Africa.
For further information on the foundation, please visit www.wkkf.org.