Twenty-eight Values Champions, employees who are ambassadors of TCO’s culture and exemplify the organization’s values, teamed up with Playworks to teach students the power of safe, fun, and healthy play at recess. Students learned inclusive games and team-building activities in a classroom setting, and participated in a recess period with volunteers to practice what they learned by playing games such as wiffleball and gagaball, a variation of dodgeball.
“It’s really important for kids to learn through play in elementary school because that’s the foundation for how we interact with each other as we move through life,” Playworks Program Director Abigail MacLaren said. “One of the special things that happens when we get to bring community members to schools is actually seeing the adults join in and play. Adults often don’t take time to step out and play, and when they do they remember what it’s like to be a kid.”
Turtle Lake Elementary School is committed to providing rigorous academic learning opportunities while nurturing the social and emotional growth of every child. Playworks helps kids grow as leaders, giving them the social and emotional skills needed to thrive inside and outside of the classroom. At a Playworks school, every student is included regardless of athletic ability, academic skills, or background.
“It’s so inspiring for kids to see adults playing, and it makes them want to play even more, especially the kids who are getting older and feel they’re too cool to play,” MacLaren said. “There are so many different ways to play, and we want to encourage them all.”
Volunteers from TCO received Playworks training and community learning time before the activities.
“What a great opportunity for TCO and Playworks to partner together in this event,” TCO Culture and Engagement Manager Todd Berg said. “All of our Values Champions had a wonderful time engaging with these students and left feeling energized.”