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!!