Reporting Live… from Fourth Grade!

  1. Updates

Solomon, a fourth-grader and Playworks Junior Coach, was looking for the scoop on recess for his school newspaper at University Heights Charter School in Newark. He sat down with the school’s executive director, Misha Simmonds, to find out how recess has changed and — just as important — what his favorite game is.

Why did you bring Playworks to the school?
I wasn’t satisfied with how recess was going. There wasn’t organized activity or enough supervision. I wanted someone to make the activities more fun and organized, and reduce the number of fights.

What do you like the most about the program?
Our coach, Coach Quinn. He brings a lot of energy and cooperates with the teachers by incorporating what kids are learning in their classes into the activities. And he’s a good role model for the students.

How has the school changed over the past few months?
Coach Quinn taught the students how to resolve some of the petty conflicts during play and outside of play, like with ro-sham-bo. And when kids go back to class after lunch and recess, they are ready to learn. They don’t have as many problems as I remember them having last year. Teachers have even used some of Coach Quinn’s techniques in the classroom to get students to focus.

What is your favorite game?
Builders and movers! You put out all the cones and if you’re a builder you have to put the cone upright. If you’re a mover you have to put the cone upside down. It gets everyone active and organized, and no one gets left out of the game.

How often do you get in the game?
A couple times a week during recess or in classes. I love to play at recess! I come back with a lot more energy. I wish I could do it every day.

Can you describe Playworks in one word?
Positive is the first word that comes to my mind. It’s positive about physical activity, playing together and supporting each other by not being negative toward fellow students.

More Updates


March 25, 2021

Top 6 Games to Play Physically Distant with No Equipment ›

As more and more schools transition back to in-person learning, we know educators are looking for games that are physically-distant and don’t require equipment. The need for play is more important than ever due to the isolation that our kids have endured during COVID-19. Play encourages creativity, flexibility, teamwork, and other critical social skills. We’ve…

March 12, 2021

Playworks: One Year Later ›

One year ago… All of our partner schools closed their buildings and our work serving kids in schools risked coming to a halt. We knew our mission had to continue. We remained committed to providing opportunities for joy and connection through play for kids in a COVID safe way, regardless if their school was virtual,…

January 25, 2021

The Difference a Caring Adult Makes in the City of Good Neighbors ›

“Schools are going weeks without hearing from kids. Calling it a tragedy doesn’t do it justice. Even if kids are safe, they’re still lost kids because they aren’t connected,” Tyler Davis, Playworks Site Coordinator in Buffalo, NY, explains about kids in the pandemic who haven’t been attending school virtually. At the end of the pandemic,…