Embracing the Power of Play: The School District of Philadelphia Recognized as a Blue Shirt District

  1. Updates

In celebration of play’s transformative influence on children’s physical, social, and emotional well-being, Playworks recently had the pleasure of honoring The School District of Philadelphia (SDP) as a distinguished “Blue Shirt District.” The recognition uplifts the district’s unwavering commitment to fostering play and its integration into the educational journey of students.

The ceremony took place on Friday, March 15 at Andrew Hamilton School, one of 150 elementary schools across the district that have embraced the power of play in partnership with Playworks. During the event, SDP Superintendent Tony B. Watlington, Sr. Ed.D accepted the award alongside members of the Office of School Climate & Culture, Playworks CEO Elizabeth Cushing, and members of the Playworks Pennsylvania team. 

The day also featured time for district staff, Playworkers, and school staff to join alongside students in some fun recess games!

Since partnering with the Playworks Pennsylvania in 2010, the district has made significant strides to not only improve the quality of play for students at recess but also actively integrate its benefits into the fabric of education. 

What is a Playworks Blue Shirt District? 

Playworks’ signature Blue Shirt award  recognizes the districts and individual schools going above and beyond to ensure high quality play and recess are a priority for all students. 

Playworks Blue Shirt Districts don’t just believe play is important, they understand play is foundational to the health, wellness, and culture of their school. Like SDP, these are exceptional districts and schools that have committed to prioritizing play every day.

Blue Shirt Schools:

  • Have or are actively working with Playworks to put in place sustainable systems and practices that ensure high quality play remains a priority
  • Ensure recess is well-planned, intentional, and consistently scheduled
  • Commit to supporting recess supervisors with ongoing professional development
  • Maintain a yearly connection to Playworks 

Spread the Power of Play

Our celebration with SDP serves as a beacon for other districts in Pennsylvania and across the country by highlighting the positive impact of integrating play into the educational fabric of every school. 

Ready to bring Playworks to your school or program? Connect with a team member


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