Playworks Kicks Off Milestone Year in Big Way

  1. Updates
  2. News

It’s been 15 years since Playworks first stepped onto the playground in two Berkeley schools and began to change recess. Since then, what started as a good idea has developed into a major movement. This year, Playworks will celebrate our 15 year anniversary by serving more than 120,000 students in more than 300 schools in 22 cities in all major regions of the country.

Playworks has also added six new cities to the 2011-12 roster, and we’ve expanded into schools in New York City’s Brooklyn borough.

Our new expansion cities include:  ChicagoPhoenix,  Albuquerque/New MexicoSalt Lake City,  Jackson and Durham,

"It’s rewarding to see how a simple idea to teach kids games and sporting behavior at recess has grown into a national movement around play and improving school culture," says Playworks CEO and Founder Jill Vialet. “It’s a model that continues to work."

Another Banner Year

We're also starting out on the coattails of a banner year. Surveys of nearly 2,600 principals, teachers, and staff at our 2010-11 partner schools were overwhelmingly positive.

  • Nearly nine out of ten (88%) reported a decrease in the number of conflicts originating on the playground and spilling over into the classroom,
  • 85% reported a reduction in the amount of time transitioning from recess to classroom instruction.
  • Nationally, Playworks schools averaged more than 24 hours of reclaimed teaching time from resolving playground issues.
  • In addition, 86% reported a decrease in incidents of bullying, and 87% reported a decrease in disciplinary referrals. 


More Updates

October 6, 2020

Using Play to Foster Social Connections and Physical Activity ›

Play isn’t just fun and games – it’s a vital aspect of our health and well-being. When we play, we engage our bodies, minds, and senses, creating opportunities for increased physical activity, learning, and connection with others. Play can even help relieve stress and support the development of important social-emotional skills, including communication and cooperation.…

September 3, 2020

How Equity, Trauma, and Play Intersect ›

The play opportunity gap Play is critical for healthy child development as it is a safe way for kids to experiment and practice building relationships and cooperating with others. And yet, even in normal circumstances before COVID-19, there wasn’t an equal opportunity for every kid to play. We need to make sure this disparity does…

August 17, 2020

Download the Playworks School Re-Opening Workbook ›

This is an unprecedented moment for kids, teachers, families, and schools. Re-opening our schools will involve decisions based on incomplete information that must be made in an environment that, at best, would be described as uncertain. The Playworks School Reopening Workbook is a free resource and workbook aiming to bring a bit of ease to…