Playworks

To improve the health and well-being of children by increasing opportunities for physical activity and safe, meaningful play. We improve school climates, rescue recess and help regain lost teaching time.
Oct 10, 2011

Playworks Portland Year in Review

Rock Paper Scissors!
Rock Paper Scissors!

We are fortunate to live in Portland. The connection between residents and their community runs deep in these parts. As we gear up for the new school year we thought we'd share a few highlights from 2010/11.

We've been busy building new corporate and community partnerships and strengthening past ones throughout the year. Our Corporate Kickball Tournament brought teams from Nike, Portland Trail Blazers, Portland Pilots, Symantec, Columbia Sportswear, Interworks, Kaiser Permanente, Kohl's, the Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel and PPS Principals. Lots of cheers and high-fives helped to make this annual fundraiser an amazing success!

We helped to welcome three recent recruits to the Portland Trail Blazers Rip City style and taught them a new game, kickball! After a press conference at the Regence Boys and Girls Club introducing Raymond Felton, Nolan Smith and Jon Diebler, they played kickball with the kids looking awesome in Playworks gear.

We held monthly Junior Coach training's, focusing on leadership, teamwork and conflict resolution skills and hosted our 2nd Annual Junior Coach Conference where nearly 170 student leaders from 14 schools came together for a day of cooperative play and lessons in respect and inclusion.

Portland increased our Training Program across the NW from Brookings OR to Seattle WA.  In addition to serving nearly 6,000 children in 14 low-income schools in the Portland Public School district, Playworks provides recess training, support and technical assistance to 12 schools in three Portland Metro school districts and their 4,800 students.

More than 500 students participated in three Playworks developmental sports leagues, exposing girls to basketball, co-ed players to volleyball and soccer. In the spring we added a co-ed Football/Futbol Jamboree, nearly 200 kids played flag football and soccer.

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 winning 100 nonprofits will appear in the October issue of Oregon Business and announced at a dinner event September 28th in Portland.

Playworks Portland provided service to the community beyond our work in the schools. Each month, our AmeriCorps members volunteered throughout the Portland Metro area and beyond, we built playgrounds and assisted with gardening projects at schools, led team building games for volunteers and students at Big Brothers and Big Sisters, helped tidy up at our local Ronald McDonald House, re-purposed building materials at the Rebuilding Center, participated in a Community Health Fair in Woodburn and much more.

Thank you for all your support and please join us for recess and play next time you are in the area. Also, don't forget the October 19th Bonus Day on Global Giving to maxmize your, or your friends', support of Playworks kids!!

Links:

Oct 10, 2011

Playworks Portland Spring Report 2011

Smiling Playworks kids after a game
Smiling Playworks kids after a game

Playworks is wrapping up the school year this month and sending students off to summer break with high-fives and big smiles. In the last few months we hosted a Junior Coach Conference for over 150 students, doubled our number of volunteers from last year and completed developmental sports leagues for girls basketball, co-ed volleyball, boys basketball and co-ed flag football and soccer! Schools, parents, teachers and of course students have continued to be excited and amazed with the Power of Play and daily impact Playworks Portland has made in the region.

As the school year winds down and we prepare to revamp for next fall, we're excited to announce that the Playworks fun will continue over the summer!! We are thrilled to announce our new partnership with Kaiser Permanente and the Oregon Children’s Theater for all of this year's Portland Sunday Parkways events. We kicked off the season at the Gilbert Heights Park Kids’ Fair where we trained "Thrive Coaches" and taught some of our favorite recess games and of course, roshambo! Kids and adults of all ages joined in and even dogs were out there playing with us. We played kickball, amazing tag games, soccer, and rolled out Imagination Playground. The weather held and we had an all-around fantastic day full of healthy play.

If you didn’t have a chance to come play at the May Sunday Parkways event (or if you had such a great time that you’re wanting more), never fear! We will be setting up another round of games at the June 26th event in North Portland; as well Sunday Parkways in July, August and September. We can’t wait to get back out there again and help our community have fun and get active.

Our second year in the Great Pacific Northwest has been wonderful and full of impact to the many lives and communities we've been a part of. We're closing the school year out with a number of fun activities including our 2nd Annual Corporate Kickball Tournament, follow the link for more info and see what teams are joining us; like Nike, The Portland Trailblazers, Univeristy of Portland and Symantec! For more information about all the happenings with Playworks check out our recent newsletter, check us out on Facebook and Twitter and visit our website often www.playworks.org/portland.

Thank-you everyone and stay playful my friends!
-The Playworks Portland Team 

Links:

Feb 28, 2011

Playworks Portland Winter Report 2011

Multnomah County Board and Playworks
Multnomah County Board and Playworks

The 2010-11 school year continues to be an amazing year for Playworks Portland in terms of growth, services provided and building relationship. Most recently we had the opportunity to present a briefing for the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners on February 10th. The briefing began with all present members participating in a game of 'Switch'. Chair Jeff Cogen and Commissioners Deborah Kafoury, Loretta Smith, and Judy Shiprack learned one of the many games we play with our students everyday. The first hand experience led to a deeper understanding of the power of play and it's social, emotional and cognitive development benefits to youth. The Board was also presented with a Playworks playground ball to give their office professionally playful. The Commissioners were all very impressed with the impact Playworks Portland has made in only 20 months of operation, with decreases in student conflict and increases in student cooperation, physical activity, and academic participation. Visit the Playworks Portland website for more photos, videos and in-depth coverage of the briefing.

Aside from getting the Multnomah County Commissioners more active we've continued our direct service to our nearly 6,000 students and biggest fans of Playworks. In mid-February we wrapped up our 2nd annual Girls' Basketball league with over 140 fourth and fifth grade girls participating, many playing basketball for their first time ever! We jump right into our Co-ed Volleyball league starting March 5th with our Volleyball Extravaganza kick-off. The University of Portland is hosting our Extravaganza at the Chiles Center that will include some of the university players joining us to speak and play with the participants.

Continuing in line with our youth development model to teach social skills that improve school climate through the power of play, we're hosting a Junior Coach Conference on March 18th! Our Junior Coaches are 4/5/th grade students trained by our Playworks Coach to support the younger grade recesses. The conference is an opportunity from Junior Coaches from all 14 schools to gather for a day of learning, sharing, playing and growing together to become leaders in their respective communities.

Playworks Portland has lots and lots of great stories, information and updates to share and more than we can fit in this report. Visit the Playworks Portland website to learn more about our new board members, collaboration in multiple healthy campaigns, Portland Timbers Awareness Night in April, Playworks Training in Parkrose and great volunteer opportunities!!

Principal Cindy Bartman at Shaver Elementary in Parkrose said: in 5 months they've seen a "50% reduction in office referrals". When asked about having Playworks Training she "couldn't imagine doing anything different" and went on to say "it's that good, that fast".

 

Thanks for reading, supporting and playing!!

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