Who They Are
Playworks Arizona helps kids to stay active and build valuable life skills through play. They help schools and districts make the most of recess through on-site staffing, consultative support, professional development, free resources, and more. They also support youth programs and other organizations that wish to improve playtime.
Playworks Arizona got its start by serving three schools in 2011 and is now celebrating its tenth anniversary, The nonprofit has partnered with more than 250 schools and youth organizations and helped over 125,000 children to ensure play.
What They Do
Playworks Arizona helps schools all over the state, including all areas of the valley, to rethink recess by figuring out what works well on their playgrounds. They provide direct and professional development for adults who work with children in order to make this happen.
For recess to reinforce school culture, Playworks has learned that a holistic approach is needed. They work with schools to address the following focus areas:
Instead of banning games or playtime, they help schools find ways to keep kids playing. For example, recess monitors can teach students to tag using light “butterfly fingers” to keep scrapes and bruises manageable.
Adults can set the tone by inviting children to play, reminding students of the rules using different learning styles, and modeling inclusion. Introducing fun variations on traditional playground games — like Crossover Dodgeball, where the goal is to get everyone to the other side and no one is “out”—is another way to make recess inclusive for everyone.
The Playworks Junior Coach Leadership Program puts the recess culture into the hands of capable upper-elementary students. The natural leaders on the playground are kids, not adults. Kids want to be acknowledged for their leadership abilities, and they want to grow. A little encouragement is all kids need to lead games, pass out equipment, and set a positive, playful tone.
How We’re Helping
Our donation of $1,000 will be used to support Playworks Arizona in its mission to continue to help kids reconnect with teachers and classmates while also helping them feel safe, empowered, and like they are a part of their community.