Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
Playworks positively impacts children’s physical, cognitive and social development. Playworks places a full-time adult program coordinator, called a “coach”, at each of our low-income partner elementary schools. Coaches organize fun, play-based physical activities before, during & after school. Through our 5-component program, coaches transform the playground into a place where students learn essential skills such as teamwork, conflict resolution, empathy, and fair play.
On our playgrounds every kid is encouraged to play. Inclusive language like, "good job/ nice try" replaces teasing and "you're out" so that kids don't get too discouraged. Youth leaders facilitate games for their peers, and take ownership over the playground experience.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
In 2010, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation contracted with Mathematica Policy Research and Stanford University to conduct a rigorous, randomized control trial of Playworks. The study found that Playworks schools have less bullying; students behave better at recess; students have greater readiness for class; teachers have more time for teaching; schools feel safer; and nearly 100% of educators are satisfied with Playworks programming.
This school year, Playworks will partner with 27 low-income elementary schools, providing our play and youth development programming to 14,000 students daily. Our youth leadership program will provide 405 4th/5th grade students with 30 hours of training on topics like conflict resolution, inclusion, leadership and community involvement. These "Junior Coaches" then make recess a safe and inclusive experience for their peers and younger students.
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
Playworks’ growth plan uses 2 reinforcing strategies for regional scale.
1: Expansion of our direct service programming through district wide partnerships to drive systems change throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo. We are looking to impact every school in districts like EPA, SJUSD, and SCUSD. 2: Provide training to schools that wish to duplicate Playworks’ model. We have a wait-list of 10 schools in the region. We want play based social emotional learning at every school in the region. We don't have resources to provide a coach to every school, but we can provide A+ training to everyone.