Playworks Rocks Philadelphia Recess

  1. Updates

On a sunny Monday morning in May 2010, Playworks coaches descended on playgrounds all over Philadelphia to transform chaotic recess periods to times when every kid participates, learns to positively resolve conflict but most of all has fun. Their ambitious goal – to do this in one week during "Recess Roll Out" with little more than skill, energy and a few rubber balls.  A tall order? Definitely.

By day three, prinicpals, teachers and school playground assistants were astonished by the transformation. Recess fights had become all but nonexistent. Kids were playing together without conflict, following directions and having the time of their lives.

One teacher told her principal about how two boys who often carried their recess conflicts into the classroom were about to get into a fight during classtime, and stopped in their tracks.

"Coach said we don't do that anymore," one said, and they quickly used rock-paper-scissors, then got back to the business of learning.
 
By the end of the week, six of nine principals had reworked their budgets to bring Playworks back in the fall.  The remaining three schools were crunching numbers to do the same.  The Recess Roll Out was so successful that it attracted newspaper and televsion coverage and a $30,000 commitment from the Eagles Youth Partnership to make sure that Phillys will have a great year at recess!

More Updates


August 24, 2021

Playworks Founder Jill Vialet Publishes ‘Why Play Works’ ›

Play brings out the best in every kid. Over the course of 25 years since Jill Vialet founded Playworks, she and her colleagues, as well as researchers and play experts, have demonstrated precisely how and why play works to help kids learn and grow in the most positive and healthy ways. Jill gathered stories from people…

March 25, 2021

Top 6 Games to Play Physically Distant with No Equipment ›

As more and more schools transition back to in-person learning, we know educators are looking for games that are physically-distant and don’t require equipment. The need for play is more important than ever due to the isolation that our kids have endured during COVID-19. Play encourages creativity, flexibility, teamwork, and other critical social skills. We’ve…

March 12, 2021

Playworks: One Year Later ›

One year ago… All of our partner schools closed their buildings and our work serving kids in schools risked coming to a halt. We knew our mission had to continue. We remained committed to providing opportunities for joy and connection through play for kids in a COVID safe way, regardless if their school was virtual,…