Playworks Portland Executive Director Jonathan Blasher and Playworks Coach Sam Balto recently served as part of a group who went to Washington, D.C. to raise awareness about Playworks in our state of Oregon and the districts we serve. They met congressional staffers and members from the offices of: Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and Representatives Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader to talk about the importance of school recess. They invited members of Congress to visit a school. Coach Sam taught 'Popcorn' to one of the staffers, which we hope will go viral and spread across Capitol Hill. The group was there at the invitation of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).
It was a great visit as 13 other coaches from their respective cities told compelling stories that highlighted the work Playworks does in schools. The visit was an excellent opportunity for Playworks to educate our federal policymakers about how communities in the greatest need are working to highlight the importance of physical activity in elementary schools and the positive influence a well-run recess can have on school climate.
Portland Executive Director Jonathan Blasher, U.S Senator Ron Wyden, D – Ore., Playworks President Elizabeth Cushing, and Playworks Coach Sam Balto.