Shift Behavior & Accelerate Learning - PacificNW

by Playworks

Our 2014/15 school year was incredibly successful; we served 10,000 kids daily in 20 low income schools across the Portland metro area. We also launched a successful TeamUp pilot program (4 schools to one site coordinator) in Vancouver, Washington serving an additional 2,000 kids. Overall, we were able to serve 76 schools and 33,167 kids through a combination of Direct Service, TeamUP and our Playworks Professional Development Training across the Pacific Northwest. 

Kids need to play. Playworks creates a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional success skills. We're changing the culture of school through safe, fun, and healthy play at school every day. And we need you to help make it happen. Please watch this video choose play to see how you can help us reach our goals to make every day healthier, more inclusive and fun for 15,000 kids in 32 low income schools across the Portland metro area. 

Thank you!

There are many reasons why Playworks is important to me. I believe that it is important to have acts of kindness everywhere a person goes. Helping others is an important act of kindness. It seems like there is so much negativity going on in our world that the amount of kindness seems to be limited. Playworks not only helps the kids at Crestline, but it helps me be a better person. I learn more and more about myself. I think that this is a great thing for kids to be involved in because life only gets harder and the pressure feels like it's never going to go away.

I wanted to be a part of Playworks because for the first few years at Crestline I felt alone and picked on. I got bullied many times. I found myself playing at recess alone many times, and I never wanted to go to school because that part was really hard. My mom told me that it will get better and for me to not give up on people. I wanted to make sure that no one had to feel the way I did.

Playworks is a unique opportunity for all the students to be involved one way or another. It could be giving or receiving help or friendship from people you wouldn't normally think would have the time of day for you.

I feel that at our age things should be fun and we should be kids and enjoy life, but sometimes pressures are so much with homework, learning and then being alone or bullied makes being a kid very hard. I like playing with the younger kids. It makes me feel good knowing that I could change their day to a positive day. It frustrates me when bullies think that they can be mean to kids. My mom tells me that sometimes people are mean to other people because they are actually the one's hurting and they need kindness too. That is hard especially when bullies are cruel and hurt people. My friends and I still deal with this, but we walk away.

I hope the generations can have less anger and sadness because of beginnings like Playworks. If we start young helping each other at a younger age it will get easier for the small and big acts of kindness will come naturally. We may not be able to solve the world's problems but being kind one act at a time is a good beginning for all of us to succeed.

I want people to know Playworks is that act of kindness. I am very grateful to be part of something that means something so big that actually is a small amoung of time and effort.

Meet Junior Coach Rafaella from Portland, Oregon. Rafaella mentors younger students using her creative energy, enthusiasm and charisma! When she leads tag games at recess with younger kids, they flock to her enthusiasm.  Even students as young as kindergartners know to expect the unexpected with Rafaella. New and silly rules get added, and special roles get handed out. Anything is possible in a game with Junior Coach Rafaella. Rafaella always includes as many students as possible from all different classrooms and social groups. She treats every student with an equal amount of respect, and games are always played safely without anyone being left out or behind with her leadership. Watching Rafaella draw other students in with her charisma and zaniness is one of her best qualities. She is an outstanding Junior Coach and a leader in the Beach School community.


Junior Coach Desmond
Junior Coach Desmond

A new school year has begun and we’re excited to have new Coaches join our expanding team, and new partner schools investing in play.  In 2014-2015, Playworks will serve 12,000 kids daily in 24 low income schools across the Portland metro area and Vancouver, Washington. Click here to meet all our Coaches, and click here to see the list of partner schools. 

We'd like to introduce you to recess rockstar Junior Coach Desmond. Desmond is a 5th grader at Boise-Eliot/Humboldt School. He loves to play 3-line basketball and 4-square at recess with his peers and younger brother. As a Junior Coach he helps Coach Ruby on the playground to lead games, encourage others, and give out high-fives and positive support. He's leaning to be a leader and helping to make his playground and school more inclusive and fun. Your support helps to train 360 amazing junior coaches to be leaders and peer mentors at each of our partner schools. Thank you!


2014 Playworks Team
2014 Playworks Team

We ended with a bang for our fifth year in the Pacific Northwest! In the last five years we have partnered with 22 schools, served more than 25,000 students, and had 36 wonderful Coaches making a difference in their communities. We wouldn’t be here without the support of schools, donors, businesses, individuals, our board & staff - and of course our coaches. Thank you for believing in the Power of Play and we can’t wait to see what the next 5 years will bring us in the Pacific Northwest!

Five Year Highlights: #1 Best Nonprofit to work for in OregonLight a Fire AwardPlayworks Stands Together with Portland Timbers Community FundPlayworks Goes to Capitol HillKaiser Thrives by Supporting Local Youth

2009 Playworks Team
2009 Playworks Team

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Organization Information


Location: Oakland, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Playworks Education Energized
Portland, OR United States
$15,720 raised of $30,000 goal
61 donations
$14,280 to go
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