The American Academy of Pediatrics released a policy statement on the critical role of recess in schools, saying “Recess serves as a necessary break from the rigors of concentrated, academic challenges in the classroom. But equally important is the fact that safe and well-supervised recess offers cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits that may not be fully appreciated when a decision is made to diminish it.”
Recess is a necessary part of our children’s school day, but unfortunately this can be forgotten in the journey to provide academic achievement. It is wonderful to have the official recommendation of doctors on our side while we work to make recess a highly valued part of the school day. And we’re so happy to see many major news sources pick up this story and to hear the world talking about the value of recess. Here are the five key points the pediatricians of the AAP specifically recommend to parents, teachers, school administrators, and policy makers:
(Read the full statement here)
Thank you to all of our amazing supporters in the great Pacific Northwest, helping to create a healthier and happier generation one game at a time!
As Playworks continues its fourth year in Portland, we’ve been busy optimizing every opportunity during the day for children in low-income schools to create healthier lives and school climates. Through play, our program coordinators (coaches) teach kids (and model) the importance of inclusion and respect and empower them to solve their conflicts in positive ways.
Coach Ruby joined Playworks Portland in 2009, our first year in the Pacific Northwest. She served two years as an AmeriCorps program coordinator with Playworks then transitioned to become a veteran staff member. Playworks program coordinators like Coach Ruby are present and smiling at each of our partner schools every day from 8:30am to 5:30pm. She has played thousands of games with hundreds of students and transformed a school once riddled with behavior issues and bullying into a place of active learning, high fives and rock, paper, scissors. The Junior Coach program is a leadership development opportunity for 4th and 5 graders, (just one of five Playworks program components) that elevates school climate and builds a strong peer community. Coach Ruby recently shared this about one of her students;
“Chloe was a reserved student, but behind her shy exterior was something incredible. She was an outstanding leader, with infectious positivity. I remember during a kickball game Chloe noticed a peer having a terrible time. Like a pro, Chloe consoled him, told him how great he was doing and turned his attitude around. Chloe’s greatest asset as a Junior Coach is her selflessness for others. She is a role model and a catalyst for positive change.”
Coach Ruby, Sitton Elementary School, Portland
Junior Coach Chloe graduated to middle school this year but we know she has learned valuable skills and will continue to inspire those around her and will continue to be an outstanding leader for her community and Ambassador of Play.
Stories like these become reality every day and we are able to expand our services to reach more children in struggling communities. Thank you for being our partner!
Expanding our Playful Reach in the Northwest
Playworks Portland is excited to celebrate a significant grant from Kaiser Permanente Northwest’s Community Benefit Program to further Playworks’ goal of increasing opportunities for safe, meaningful play and physical activity. Funds will be used to increase the access, opportunities and impact of play for 20,000 school aged children in the Pacific Northwest region.
“We are thrilled to deepen our partnership with Kaiser Permanente Northwest to help kids be healthy and ready to learn,” says Jonathan Blasher, Playworks Portland executive director. “This support will help us continue our vision of ensuring that every child in the Pacific Northwest gets to experience a great school recess.”
As part of the one-year grant, Kaiser Permanente funds will support Playworks’:
“Kaiser Permanente Northwest is dedicated to improving the health of the communities that we serve. This partnership with Playworks will allow us to support our common efforts in the region and increase the potential for schools to be a center of health, learning and well-being,” remarked Kaiser Community Benefit Manager, Molly Haynes.
Play Works for Employees
For a second year in a row, Oregon Business magazine has named Playworks Portland one of the 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon. The list is compiled to recognize nonprofits for fostering an outstanding workplace. The rankings were based on the confidential input of employees who answered questions about workplace satisfaction such as benefits, management, trust, work environment and career development. Scores and ranking of the winning100 nonprofits will appear in the October issue of Oregon Business and announced at a dinner event this Fall.