Playworks Blue Shirt Schools

Introducing the Playworks Blue Shirt School program.

At Playworks, we believe in the power of play to bring out the best in every kid and we partner with schools across the country to ensure the benefits of play are felt throughout the school day. 

Our best practices for play and recess have been developed over 25 years and are proven to work, however, they rely on great partners to implement them. 

Blue Shirt School logo

Our impact is greatest when Playworks’ best practices, caring and consistent adults, and dedicated school partners come together to make safe and healthy play a priority for kids. 

We’re introducing the Blue Shirt School Program to recognize the schools going above and beyond to ensure high quality play and recess are a priority. 

Playworks Blue Shirt Schools don’t just believe play is important, they understand play is foundational to the health, wellness, and culture of their school. These are exceptional schools who have committed to prioritizing play every day. 

Blue Shirt Schools:
  1. Have or are actively working with Playworks to put in place sustainable systems and practices that ensure high quality play remains a priority
  2. Ensure recess is well-planned, intentional, and consistently scheduled
  3. Commit to supporting recess supervisors with ongoing professional development
  4. Maintain a yearly connection to Playworks through check-ins, play resources, programming, staff training, and recess quality visits

By empowering their school staff with our best practices and through their commitment to play, Blue Shirt Schools are transforming the educational experience for their students. 

They are equipped to continue to uplift the power of play, with or without our direct support, for the long term. Their students are happier, healthier, and better for it. 

Play is both critical for the growth and development of our youngest learners and has been disappearing from their lives and school experience. Recess presents an opportunity for schools to ensure all kids receive the benefits of play including a positive impact on:

  • Physical activity
  • Mental health
  • School attendance
  • Social and emotional skills
  • Classroom behavior and academic engagement
  • Emotional and physical safety at school

When schools recognize why play matters, all the benefits of play and recess for individual kids culminate in safe and healthy schools and communities – exactly what kids need to thrive.


We are proud to announce Playworks’ 2023-2024 Blue Shirt Schools: 
    1. Ascension Catholic School – Minneapolis, MN
    2. Carver Elementary School – Maplewood, MN
    3. Castle Elementary School – Oakdale, MN
    4. Cherokee Heights Elementary School – St. Paul, MN
    5. Cowern Elementary School – St. Paul, MN
    6. Community of Peace Academy – St. Paul, MN 
    7. Eagle Point Elementary School – Oakdale, MN
    8. Justice Alan Page Elementary School – Maplewood, MN
    9. Karner Blue Education Center – Blaine, MN
    10. Lucy Craft Laney at Cleveland Park Community School – Minneapolis, MN
    11. Marcy Arts Magnet Elementary School – Minneapolis, MN
    12. Nellie Stone Johnson Elementary School – Minneapolis, MN
    13. Nova Classical Academy – St. Paul, MN
    14. Pankalo Education Center – Lake Elmo, MN
    15. Richardson Elementary School – North St. Paul, MN
    16. Weaver Elementary School – Maplewood, MN

Get in touch with Playworks to learn more about the Blue Shirt School Program, find opportunities to get involved with Playworks, or to bring Playworks to your school.