Last year, Playworks debuted a new service, TeamUp, a fusion of our flagship one-coach-per-school program and our training services which provide adults with useful techniques to maintain healthy playtime. TeamUp provides a single site coordinator to four partner schools—four times as many schools than our flagship program. The site coordinator spends a week each month at each school leading, supporting, and empowering the recess team—including a lead recess coach—to create a safe, inclusive playground for all students.
TeamUp proved a success. Not only was Playworks able to serve 23 schools across the country through the new model, but 93 percent of the school staff at TeamUp schools reporting wanting Playworks to return.
One of those schools that wanted Playworks to return was John F. Nuffer Elementary School in Newark, CA. Bertina Denogean, the site coordinator at Nuffer, shared the story of Rosemary to highlight the impact that TeamUp had in the school community.
Rosemary was a volunteer at Nuffer who became the official recess coach and truly embodied the work Playworks sets out to do. She went beyond her responsibilities on the playground, from organizing class game time to holding Junior Coach meetings when Bertina was not on-site. Because of her infectious energy and determination, Rosemary was viewed by the school administrators as a part of the faculty, with people coming to her first for advice on what to do on the playground by the end of the school year.
Rosemary’s work of carrying the Playworks model did not go unnoticed. A member of the Nuffer school community had the following to say about TeamUp and the impact it had on her school:
I feel that it had a big impact in our school because students are participating in making a better environment for themselves. The Nuffer team has been making a great change, and our children feel good helping others because they feel good with themselves. Playworks has encouraged our students to do better by understanding them first. Great job!
The story of Rosemary at Nuffer highlights how TeamUp is helping more schools experience the benefit of working with Playworks and the power of play. This year, we are continuing our TeamUp program, now reaching 136 schools nationwide.