All Work And No Play | City of Ideas

Posted 11/04/2016 by James Burnett

One of the ways in which the Boston Foundation supports health and wellness is through Playworks, which, if you didn't know, is a California-based nonprofit that facilitates physical activity in schools.

Playworks currently serves over 250 low-income urban schools and 100,000-plus school children daily, in more than a dozen cities, including Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Denver, and Milwaukee.

With grants from the Boston Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Playworks brought its playground coaching program to Boston in 2006, where its staff and volunteers now work with about 30 schools.

The program works through a powerful system of play that is making a daily difference where it is most needed. Playworks places full-time “coaches” in elementary and middle schools, where they build games and physical activity into a positive school environment, offering opportunities for healthy play during recess and throughout the school day.

With childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes on the rise, Playworks not only helps kids get the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity, it makes them better able to concentrate on their academics, promotes better behavior and less bullying, and facilitates up to 36 extra hours of learning time through less classroom conflict and shorter transitions after recess.

I don't know about you, but growing up I fully endorsed the cliché of recess being my favorite "class" of the day. Duverneau's game and Gov. Baker's proclamation reminded me that as an adult, even if I don't have time to "play" I need to support the notion for growing kids. Active bodies really do assist active minds.


H/T: Barbara Hindley, Senior Director of Publications and Marketing, editor of  There at the Beginning: How the Boston Foundation Took a Chance on More Than 100 Great Ideas That Worked.

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