When schools shut down across New England last March, we held firmly to our vision to make sure kids experience safe and healthy play each day. Used to seeing every student in their school on the playground each day, our Coaches were suddenly in their homes, attempting to understand the world of remote learning and working to stay connected to the school community they love.
While we could no longer be in person with students, we knew it was more important than ever that students have the opportunity to play. Playworks responded to the pandemic quickly, and we’ve continued to adapt our expertise from 25 years of in-person play to ensure students have the opportunity to experience the social, emotional, and mental health benefits of play in a real moment of need this fall.
The first half of the school year has been full of innovation and impact. Check out our 2020-21 Mid-Year Report for full details but here are a few highlights:
- Playworks Coaches are working directly with 23 schools and over 10,000 students across Boston, Cambridge and Lawrence;
- Coaches have facilitated 400+ recesses, 3000+ Class Game Times, and 114 hours of Junior Coach training; and,
- Over 570 educators from over 90 New England schools engage weekly through Playworks’ newly launched digital service, Keep Playing.
Curious to see the evolution of Playworks’ programming over the past year? Here’s a brief summary of some of the ways we’ve adapted and innovated to continue serving kids during the COVID-19 pandemic:
We know that when kids do return to their classrooms, especially after this extreme period of isolation and turbulence, they’ll need play more than ever.
As spring approaches, we remain committed to helping our partners think through the complexities of returning students to school safely. Together, we can ensure that all children have the support necessary to navigate the months ahead.
To learn more or find a time to see Playworks programming in action, please contact Jessie Igoe at firstname.lastname@example.org.