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The power of play

Posted by: Playworks Indiana
Posted: November 20, 2019
Categories: Community Partners

“When I say play, you say works! PLAY! WORKS! PLAY! WORKS!”

If you joined recess at a Playworks school, you might hear one of our coaches or trained staff using this chant as an attention getter in order to transition into another activity or return to class. This is one of the many strategies Playworks professionals use to help transform the look, feel and culture of elementary schools across the country and right here in Central
Indiana.

Playworks allows our students an opportunity for inclusive play, and teaches our students to work collaboratively with each other. Since we have implemented Playworks, we have seen a drastic reduction in the number of physical altercations on the playground. We have also seen a reduction in the amount of stress and anxiety in our students because they are able to go outside and play in a safe, non-threatening environment.

–Jeremy Baugh, Lew Wallace Elementary School 107

Recess is that time during the school day where children are meant to have the freedom to be active, interact with their friends, and most importantly, have fun. As social creatures, the desire to play is innate in humans and unfortunately, in a digital age, many elementary age kids are not developing the necessary social emotional skills, (such as communication, teamwork, and empathy) to ensure recess is a positive, productive experience. Without these vital skills, recess can become stressful, chaotic, exclusionary, a source of bullying and negative student behavior that spills over into the rest of the school day and impacts academic performance.

Playworks’ approach to play has a proven track record of reducing bullying and changing school culture into an environment that fosters greater student success. By focusing on recess and play, we’re creating an environment, on the playground and in the classroom, where students feel safe, included and supported. Students are active and engaged in Playworks games that teach teamwork, communication, conflict resolution, self regulation, and leadership skills. At a Playworks school, every student has a place and is included, regardless of physical ability or where they’re from. Creating this shift into a more positive, inclusive environment results in students returning to the classroom more focused and ready to learn.

One of the best ways children can feel safe, connected and loved is through play. Playworks helps our children feel safe, connected and loved, which in turn builds their social emotional skills which in turn leads to academic learning and growth.

–Sajan George, Founder and CEO of Matchbook Learning at Wendell Phillips School 63

During the 2019-2020 school year, Playworks Indiana will have a trained and certified Playworker facilitating our evidence based program in 21 Central Indiana elementary schools, impacting nearly 11,000 students every day with safe, healthy and inclusive play that contributes to positive learning environments. Additionally, Playworks certified trainers will provide professional development trainings to another 65 schools and youth serving organizations across the state of Indiana and Northern Kentucky, ensuring more than 32,500 kids experience safe, healthy and inclusive play.

To learn more about Playworks services and Impact, visit our website.

Play, it’s not just for kids!
At Playworks, we believe in the power of play to bring out the best in everyone, kids and adults! Unfortunately, in adulthood we often do not prioritize play in our daily lives or get many opportunities to combine work and play. Thankfully, Playworks Indiana has the solution with our Annual Corporate Kickball Tournament. Unlike your average fundraising event, our kickball tournament provides a unique opportunity for company teams to play together and experience all the amazing benefits play has to offer, such
as building strong relationships among teams, improving communication, increasing physical activity, and relieving stress.

Held on the 1st Wednesday in May at Midwest Sports and Social Complex, Playworks Indiana’s Annual Kickball Tournament has been revered as:
“One of the best corporate events I have attended!”
“A great team building & employee engagement opportunity!”
“A fun day out of the office with people you may not normally see, contributing to a great cause!”

As we gear up for the 2020 Tournament, Playworks Indiana has set a lofty goal to host our largest tournament ever with #20Teamsin2020! If you and your colleagues are interested in getting involved, email emily.kitterman@playworks.org.

Play On, Indianapolis!

Emily Kitterman is the Development Manager at Playworks Indiana. Learn more about Emily.

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