The grant from the Milwaukee Succeeds Funders Collaborative will help Playworks Wisconsin assess recess practices and train adults.
The Milwaukee Succeeds Funders Collaborative has invested $116,000 in an innovative approach to student safety, engagement, and empowerment focused on adult training and professional development. Through many months of collaboration with St. Anthony School, Milwaukee Public Schools district leadership, and Milwaukee Succeeds representatives, Playworks has aligned a layered partnership approach to support building an environment of safe and healthy play in area elementary schools.
“We are incredibly excited about this project and the partnership between Playworks, Milwaukee Public Schools, and St. Anthony School,” says Danae Davis, Executive Director of Milwaukee Succeeds. “In order to improve outcomes for all the children of our city, we must capitalize on every opportunity we have to develop their social and emotional well-being, as well as create scalable practices that schools can own. This innovative project has that potential by helping schools learn what works, and building that learning into the school day—with a constant focus on what’s best for kids.”
From test scores to school culture, from safety to inclusion, today’s elementary schools have many important priorities. At too many schools, recess is overlooked as an opportunity for accomplishing these goals.
Studies have shown that what happens on the playground impacts the entire school day. A report from the Institute of Medicine found that children who are more active “show greater attention, have faster cognitive processing speed, and perform better on standardized academic tests than children who are less active.” A study of one of Playworks’ services by Stanford University and Mathematica Policy Research also found that a better recess environment decreased bullying and increased students’ feelings of safety at school.
The Milwaukee Succeeds grant will allow Playworks to train adults to create a safe, healthy, recess environment.
Playworks’ mission is to improve the health and well-being of children by increasing opportunities for physical activity and safe, meaningful play. Playworks is the leading nonprofit in Wisconsin, and nationally, to leverage play as a tool to promote healthy behaviors, increase social and emotional learning, and improve school climate.
About Milwaukee Succeeds
Milwaukee Succeeds unites our community around a commitment to support strategies that will achieve our shared vision of success for every child, in every school, cradle to career. Milwaukee Succeeds is an education initiative and an expansive community partnership working with nearly 300 organizations to close the achievement gap on education issues including social and emotional learning.