Growing Play in the Twin Cities

  1. Updates

Minnesota School District Recognized as a Blue Shirt District

Playworks’ first Blue Shirt District in Minnesota was announced today: North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District 622 (District 622). The recognition uplifts District 622’s commitment to prioritizing play’s physical, social, and emotional benefits for all their elementary school students in partnership with Playworks. 

The district was recognized during a ceremony at Weaver Elementary in Maplewood. Special guests included Jesse K Mamaril of U.S. Bank and Sarah Barber of NBC Sports Next who presented the award to Superintendent Tucci Osorio and staff from the district. 

During the ceremony, Superintendent Osorio reflected on the impact of the district’s partnership with Playworks and how quality play time is helping students develop valuable skills needed to thrive in and out of the classroom.

Minnesota State Senator Tou Xiong and Minnesota State Representative Peter Fischer also attended and joined Playworks staff and students for some fun recess games! 

Weaver Elementary is one of seven elementary schools in District 622 that have partnered with Playworks Minnesota since 2022. During this time, the district has made significant strides in enhancing the quality of play during recess and integrating its benefits into all aspects of students’ learning experiences. Each elementary school in the district is working closely with Playworks this school year to put systems and policies in place that will ensure this approach and emphasis on play continues into the future.

What is a Playworks Blue Shirt District? 

Playworks’ signature Blue Shirt award recognizes the districts and individual schools going above and beyond to ensure high quality play and recess are a priority for all students. 

Playworks Blue Shirt Districts don’t just believe play is important, they understand play is foundational to the health, wellness, and culture of their school. Like District 622, these are exceptional districts and schools that have committed to prioritizing play every day. 

Blue Shirt Schools:

  • Have or are actively working with Playworks to put in place sustainable systems and practices that ensure high quality play remains a priority
  • Ensure recess is well-planned, intentional, and consistently scheduled
  • Commit to supporting recess supervisors with ongoing professional development
  • Maintain a yearly connection to Playworks 
Bring the Power of Play to Your School

Our celebration with District 622 is part of a growing movement across the country to highlight the positive impact of integrating play into the educational fabric of every school. 

Ready to bring Playworks to your school or program? Connect with a team member!



Photo credit: Tamika Garscia Photography

More Updates

January 24, 2024

Indoor Recess Transition Plan ›

From snow and cold to rain, smog, and everything in between, weather can throw a wrench in your outdoor recess plans. When inclement weather strikes, transitioning to indoor play can…

December 18, 2023

Playworks recognized as a NYSS Champion ›

Playworks becomes an NYSS Champion Playworks is pleased to be recognized by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services…

December 5, 2023

2023-2024 School Forecast ›

During the 2023-2024 school year Playworks Minnesota expects to impact 19,748 students across 60 schools and out of school time partners. Read more about our impact here! 2023-2024 Forecast