The past year has been tough but especially tough for kids. Physical activity is one of the best ways to help children manage stress and anxiety, but Boston winters can make it difficult for students to find ways to stay active. To inspire students to keep playing (and spread a little end of year joy!), Playworks teamed up with the Boston Bruins Foundation to build and distribute over 800 indoor recess kits to students across Boston.
“Everyday, we see the power of play in supporting kids’ health and well-being”, says Playworks Exective Director, Jon Gay. “That’s been especially important during COVID-19, as so many students battle increased stress and isolation.”
With simple supplies and a flash card deck featuring the BFit with Playworks curriculum, participating students will have a tool kit of ways to stay active this winter. The unique curriculum was launched in 2019-20 to help students gain a better understanding of fitness, stretching, and physical strengthening exercises through exposure and coaching in small group settings. The adapted format provides simple guidance and visual examples to support kids in adopting healthy behaviors at home.
This year has also seen incredible bright spots as individuals and companies step forward in support of our community’s children. Playworks has always been fortunate to have an incredible group of champions who share the belief that all children deserve the opportunity to be their best selves. Never has that been more apparent than during this project.
Coaches and educators collaborated to identify the most useful supplies for each kit. Volunteers from Fidelity Investments hosted virtual drives for school supplies and screen-break games. The Wyndham Hotel in Beacon Hill graciously hosted the team in their largest ballroom so all 800 kits could be constructed safely. Without the support of each local partner, this project would not have been possible.
On Sunday December 13th, Playworks Coaches began distributing kits to excited kids and families across the city in collaboration with school and community partners.
“The recess kits open up new opportunities for physical activity,” says Orchard Garden’s Dean of Students, Tim Mulvehill. “Partnering with Playworks and getting our students the [indoor] recess kits allows us to continue our mission of educating and nurturing the whole child during remote learning.”
What started as a simple idea to keep kids moving, grew into a community effort to spread joy this holiday season. That energy and generosity will continue to impact students and families throughout Boston as we head into a new year.
Looking for ways to drive impact and support kids this year? Email Lizzie Chmura at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how you can make a difference this year!