The New Balance Foundation is excited to announce a $100,000 grant to support Playworks’ Play At Home, a suite of digital resources designed to ensure all children have access to physical activity, social and emotional learning, and play during this prolonged period of out-of-school time.
For over 24 years, Playworks has worked with elementary schools to ensure every child is active, feels included, and builds valuable social and emotional skills through play. During the current crisis, many children will be left without recess as a critical opportunity to be active. In addition, many parks and outdoor recreation areas are closed, leaving vulnerable families without space, resources, or guidance on how to leverage play and physical activity to best support their children’s health.
The New Balance Foundation and Playworks know that children need physical activity and social and emotional support now more than ever in order to successfully navigate this turbulent time. Playworks launched Play At Home to ensure that children can continue to reap the physical and mental health benefits of play. This includes 1) on-demand video content, 2) ‘Play at Home’ live stream recess, and 3) an online and printed ‘Playbook’ in seven languages. Play At Home resources can also be loaded into virtual learning platforms so schools can continue to offer recess as an important part of their day.
“Dedicated partners like the New Balance Foundation understand the value of physical activity now more than ever,” says Playworks New England’s Executive Director, Jonathan Gay. “We both want to help kids be active and experience something fun in the midst of this highly unusual situation. By playing with their families, kids can experience joy and some sense of normalcy in the coming weeks.”
For over 11 years, the New Balance Foundation has provided significant support to Playworks nationally as well as the communities surrounding their Boston Headquarters. Through this generous contribution, the New Balance Foundation will help provide critical resources and programming to over 1,100 schools across the country, reaching over 550,000 students each week.
“The New Balance Foundation is proud to support values-driven organizations who value physical activity as a means to support educational achievement,” says Megan Bloch, New Balance Foundation. “Playworks has proven itself as a leading national nonprofit leveraging play to transform children’s social, emotional, and physical health. Our teams are well positioned to deliver critical resources to populations most affected by COVID-19.”
The ongoing crisis will continue to shape the educational landscape in the months ahead. The New Balance Foundation and Playworks are dedicated to working together to support students, families, and schools as they prepare for re-entry in order to ensure students feel safe and supported in their school environment.
New Balance Foundation
Established in 1981, the New Balance Foundation has served a deeply held mission: to drive change in our global communities with an enduring commitment to preventing childhood obesity and championing the future success of today’s youth. For more than 35 years, New Balance Foundation has invested in research, and clinical, educational and community programs that promote healthy lifestyles, children’s fitness and nutrition, and overall community wellness.
Playworks is the leading national nonprofit leveraging the power of play to transform children’s physical and emotional health. Through direct-service coaching and training, Playworks partners with elementary schools, districts, and after-school programs to integrate games into recess to create a welcoming place for every child on the playground. With an emphasis on social and emotional learning and skill-building, students feel included while being active and developing valuable skills needed to thrive in the classroom and beyond. Serving 826,000 kids across the country, Playworks ensures recess is an opportunity for students to learn the skills needed to thrive in and out of school. For more information on Playworks, please visit www.playworks.org.