Collaborate with an on-site Playworks recess expert to empower your recess team. The Playworks TeamUp service partners with elementary schools by providing an on-site coordinator to teach, model, and empower a sustainable recess program. A fusion of Playworks Coach and Playworks Pro, TeamUp provides a single site coordinator to four partner schools. The site coordinator spends a week each month at each school leading, supporting, and empowering the recess team—including a lead recess coach—to create a safe, inclusive playground for all students.

Not ready for a full year of Playworks TeamUp? Kick the year off right with Recess Reboot: four days of on-site training, consulting, and capacity building. An experienced trainer will come to your school to demonstrate and teach strategies, games, and systems to sustain a positive culture of safe and healthy play. Your school leaves with tools, techniques, and an action plan to continue a strong culture of play throughout the year. Get in touch.

Case Studies

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…

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…

FAQ About Playworks Coach and Playworks TeamUp

Playworks Coach is in my city, but it is not in my school. How can I get Playworks in my school?

The Playworks Coach service is provided exclusively in low-income schools. To bring Playworks Coach to your school, at least 50 percent of enrollment must be eligible for free and reduced lunches. To learn more, contact the executive director listed on our website for your city. S/he will be able to provide the information you need to bring Playworks to your school.

What if my school does not meet the low-income requirement for the Playworks Coach program?

If your school does not meet our low-income requirements, we can bring play to your school through TeamUp or Playworks Pro. These programs are designed to teach parents, teachers, staff and other adults how to organize healthy and inclusive play and to help youth learn lessons about teamwork, communication, and conflict resolution that enable them to return to the classroom ready to learn.

What is the Junior Coach program? How would you work with our existing after-school program?

The Playworks after-school program model works with 15 students, called Junior Coaches, for the entire school year. We have found that our format often complements larger after-school programs by working with those students who would benefit from being a part of a leadership program where they will participate in fun leadership activities, games, and team building led by a positive adult role model during the after school hours.

The Junior Coach program focuses on leadership development and training and is designed primarily for 4th and 5th grade students. Junior Coaches attend 2-4 hours of training after school each week led by the Playworks Coach. They also participate in team building activities and service at recess. The Junior Coach Program provides:

Opportunities for leadership: Coaches purposefully provide leadership opportunities for students throughout the school day. They ensure there are different types of opportunities, and that all junior coaches are able to participate.

Leadership Skill Development: Coaches work with 4th and 5th grade students to develop their leadership skills. They use debriefs, checks for understanding, and opportunities to apply skills to assess skill development.

Shared Leadership on Recess Objectives: Coaches and Junior Coaches both feel a sense of ownership of recess objectives and work together to achieve these objectives.

Do we still need to provide supervision at recess periods?

Yes. The role of Playworks coaches and site coordinators on the playground is to create safe and inclusive options and opportunities for play. They should not be a substitute for a playground supervisor.

Does your staff teach PE classes?

No. Our coaches and site coordinators are not Physical Education teachers. Playworks does offer 30-45 minute structured physical activity classes with teachers. During these class game times, students and teachers are able to learn and practice the games and physical activities that will be available during recess periods. Students and teachers also develop a culture of respect, inclusion, healthy community, and healthy play.

Do you work with Kindergarten?

Yes. We work with all elementary grade levels through our recess and Class Game Time components.

Get Playworks TeamUp

Get in touch to learn more about Playworks TeamUp and your school.

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