May 15, 2020

Recess is Necessary ›

Researchers agree: it’s important to prioritize recess in how schools approach re-opening. The research community has come together to establish the Global Recess Alliance in an effort to bring attention to the essential role of recess during school reopening. These scholars, health professionals, and educational leaders agree that recess is critical for children’s physical and…

April 26, 2019

Stories from the Playground: Coach Hoops ›

It’s not every day that a Playworks #AmeriCorps Coach is honored by the Los Angeles Lakers, complete with a basketball clinic hosted by legendary forward A.C. Green. Then again, being treated to a center court awards ceremony at a Lakers game isn’t something a Playworks Coach experiences every day, either. But it’s her everyday actions…

November 13, 2018

Less Time Arguing, More Time Playing ›

Junior Coach Nyyon is a ro-sham-bo rockstar! Anytime a conflict comes up, particularly during games like foursquare and switch, she is quick to step in and remind students to use ro-sham-bo to resolve the problem and get back to playing. Roshambo, also called rock, paper, scissors, is a quick game of chance kids can play…

November 13, 2018

Learning About Kindness Through Safe and Healthy Play ›

At the school where I am a Playworks Coach, the students and I talked about how we can be respectful by being safe and kind while playing. We discussed the importance of showing respect by apologizing and checking in with others when accidents happen, such as when we bump into each other at tag. Recently,…

November 13, 2018

The First Time Feeling Included Through Foursquare ›

The foursquare court is often the scene of heated recess debates, but it doesn’t have to be. As a Playworks Coach, I get to teach kids how to play together in ways that prevent conflict during “class game time” with each grade. During a recent lesson, I asked my students if they knew the definition…

November 12, 2018

Teaching Conflict Resolution Doesn’t Have to be Complicated ›

Kermit is a natural leader in his class, and all of the kids want to be his friend. During our weekly class game time, I taught Kermit’s class how to play a game called Roshambo Red Light Green Light that combines the best of two Playworks favorites. The kids loved playing the game and cheering…

November 12, 2018

Playworks’ Values Extend Beyond the Playground ›

My first experience with Playworks was on a recess site visit in my capacity as a public health professional. I witnessed how a structured school play environment can also be child affirming, joyous, and a place for leadership development. Years ago as an AmeriCorps member, I had been a playground “Duty” and recess never looked…

November 12, 2018

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work ›

To the kids at the school where I was a Playworks Coach, being a positive team player wasn’t always the popular thing to do. When I was tasked with coaching the boys basketball team, I learned quickly that I had my work cut out for me. A majority of the kids had never played organized…

November 12, 2018

Playworks Helps Make Leadership a Family Tradition ›

Junior Coach Natalie is making Playworks a family tradition. From the very first day, she knew the rules to almost every game, and even some cheers her Playworks coach didn’t know. It turns out Natalie had been learning what it means to be a Junior Coach since seeing her older sister Abby serve in the…