On Friday, September 16, we had the opportunity to host 25 volunteers from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island during their 11th annual Blue across Rhode Island Service Day!
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island and Playworks, along with the Rhode Island Healthy Schools Coalition, have been partners since the innovative launch of Recess Rocks in Rhode Island in 2015, a program designed to bring safe and healthy play to every student in the Ocean State. Since its innovation, the RRIRI program has worked in 28 school districts, trained over 4,500 of teachers/educators, and helped enhance recess and playtime for over 38,000 students in Rhode Island.
In addition to supporting the Playworks mission year-round, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island encourages their employees to participate in the annual company-wide day of service, Blue Across Rhode Island. We were honored to be chosen as a community partner and were thrilled to work with BCBSRI volunteers to repaint the recess blacktop at one of our partner schools, the Raíces Dual Language Academy.
To kickoff the morning, Playworks’ Senior Development Associate Leah Kelly gave volunteers a brief background on the mission of Playworks, and Regional Partnerships Manager Jessi Jasper gave an overview of the incredible partnership between the two organizations.
Volunteers then split up into working groups to tackle a few big playground elements: a large multi-purpose court [for games like penalty kick soccer or Sharks and Minnows], a colorful Yak Track walking path along the side of the school, a few 4-square courts, a race track, and creative hopscotch courts for independent play. As BCBSRI associates chatted and formed connections while working with their groups,, the blacktop transformed into a colorful, dynamic, and engaging playspace for students to use at recess.
As we enter the eighth year of Recess Rocks in Rhode Island, we cannot express how thankful we are for our partnership with Blue Cross & Blue Shield Rhode Island. Their belief in the power of play to bring out the best in every kid is transforming school climate all across Rhode Island, and we are grateful to have partnered with them for Blue Across Rhode Island for another year!