Create a culture of play with Playworks’ evidence-backed services.

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Prioritize Play

When kids play well, they discover the joy of physical activity. They resolve conflicts and learn to get along. They come back to class ready to learn. Studies show that recess matters: a thoughtful approach to recess improves children’s physical health and social and emotional learning.

Playworks helps you make sure all kids get to play well, every day. We partner with schools to support play every day onsite, offsite, and remotely.

Playworks Staffing

Playworks Coach is not currently offered in our region. We expect to bring this service back in the future. To learn more about our legacy model, click here. Create a culture of play before, during, and after school with a skilled Playworks Coach. For Title 1 schools; 50% subsidized.

Consultative Support

Equip your recess team through support and modeling from Playworks TeamUp. Or, explore other consultative options.

For all schools.

Join 12 schools in the Portland and Seattle area.

Professional Development

Sharpen play facilitation skills with Playworks Pro workshops for your staff.

For schools and youth organizations.

Join schools and organizations across the Pacific Northwest.

Safe Return to Play Training

When transitioning back to school buildings after remote or hybrid learning due to COVID-19, a safe and healthy recess is especially critical for building connections between a community of peers and adults, healing from the distress of the pandemic, rebuilding a sense of belonging, and academic success. Playworks’ new Safe Return to Play training is a two-hour training experience that will help your team understand how to practically transition your space and equipment so every child can experience safe and healthy play every day.

The training will cover:
    • General Outdoor Space Guidelines
    • General Indoor Space Guidelines
    • Equipment Options
    • Play Structure Options
    • Games to play with students safely

Learn more or request your training now.

May 10, 2017

How Canyons School District Improved Outcomes District-Wide With Playworks ›

When Utah introduced new state PE standards in 2015, Canyons knew they needed to act quickly. At the same time, they didn’t want to lose sight of their highest-priority strategies for their 29 schools. “We were really addressing four things at once,” recalls Allan Whitmore, Canyons’ evidence based learning specialist. “In addition to common teacher…

November 28, 2016

How One Tennessee School Turned Recess Around ›

When P.E. teacher Hannah Reinke found out that her students at Antioch Middle School in Nashville, Tennessee would get daily recess, she was thrilled. Then reality hit. Last year, Antioch Middle School borrowed time from other periods to give students recess for the first time. Seven teachers, including Reinke, were charged with leading a recess break…

September 21, 2015

Teaching Empathy on the Playground ›

Empathy is arguably the most important life skill our kids can learn. Recess is where students have the most freedom to practice empathy . . . or not. As a principal, I’ve seen students fight over space on the blacktop, space in line, and even over friends. At John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Daly City, CA, this was…


What services does Playworks offer?

Playworks partners with schools with a wide variety of needs. Transform your school with a full-time Playworks coach, collaborate with an onsite Playworks recess expert to empower your playground team, or build capacity for positive play with Playworks professional development. Learn more about Playworks Coach, Playworks TeamUp, and Playworks Pro.

Do you work with middle schools or K-8 schools?

Playworks programming is designed for elementary schools. We do work with K-8 schools if the focus is on the lower grades.

Who are your staff? What are their qualifications?

Energetic, fun, and consistent are three words that capture Playworks coaches, site coordinators, and certified trainers. A common thread among our staff is a commitment to and passion for supporting the health and well-being of children. All coaches, site coordinators, and certified trainers come to Playworks with prior experience working with children and generally have worked within after-school programs, youth leagues and summer camps, or within other youth service agencies in the nonprofit sector.

Who is responsible for supervising the Playworks staff person?

Playworks is responsible for training and overseeing the work of each coach, site coordinator, and certified trainer. We assign each school site a program manager, whose role is to supervise and support coaches and site coordinators. Program managers are responsible for overseeing and maintaining program quality at each school site and serve as the primary contact person for school administrators.

How many staff are assigned to a school?

In the Playworks Coach service, one full-time, caring and consistent Playworks coach implements our entire program at each school.

With Playworks TeamUp, Playworks partners with elementary schools by providing a part-time on-site coordinator to teach, model, and empower a sustainable recess program.

Playworks Pro provides professional training and ongoing development to existing school staff, paraprofessionals, and after-school care providers to create and maintain a great recess and play environment throughout the school year.

What offsite and remote support is available to direct service schools?

We provide a number of opportunities for school staff and kids to experience distance learning, including:

  • Curation of Playworks resources: Site Coordinator will provide staff with guidance and support resources for virtual game implementation and self-directed play activities for students
  • Live “Virtual Play” Sessions: Site Coordinator will lead virtual CGT and JCLP sessions with students
  • Consultation Webinars: When in-person trainings are not possible, Playworks will provide school staff with professional development and support for in-person and distance learning play-based programming

Get Started

Get in touch for a free recess consultation. Find out which service is right for you.

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