On April 15th, 2013 15 play advocates will be running the 117th Boston Marathon in support of Playworks Metro Boston.
I couldn't be more excited about running the 2013 Boston Marathon in support of Playworks! I am running for Playworks because I believe in the power of activity, games and play to help young people succeed. I want to help support young people in Boston build confidence, learn strategies for conflict resolution and begin developing as leaders. Physical activity and healthy living have played a critical role in my life and Playworks provides these things I value so much to young people in Boston.
Playworks’ full-time, direct service model integrates the physical, social, and emotional aspects of play into the school day. Playworks is the only organization in the country to send enthusiastic, trained program coordinators into low-income schools to focus on recess as a learning opportunity. Playworks creates energetic, fun environments that encourage students to engage with their peers and teach them essential life skills such as teamwork, conflict resolution and empathy, while receiving a crucial daily dose of physical activity.
- First, coaches organize a safe and inclusive recess by establishing specific areas on the playground for games, developing uniform rules for behavior and teaching simple but effective conflict resolution techniques such as rock/paper/scissors.
- Second, coaches work with teachers from each class to provide 45 minutes of Class Game Time every other week, on average. This enables coaches to reinforce positive social and playground behaviors in smaller groups, as well as offer additional opportunities for physical activity during the school day, all of which models for teachers how they can continue to incorporate movement into education.
- Third, coaches nurture a cadre of 4th and 5th grade students to serve as Junior Coaches. This peer leadership program improves kids’ self-esteem, communication skills and motivation to achieve academic excellence, allowing them to enter the challenging and defining middle school years with heightened skills and confidence.
- Fourth, coaches provide quality after-school programming for 4th and 5th graders, which includes physical activity, homework assistance, and a healthy snack.
- Fifth, coaches run interscholastic, non-competitive developmental sports leagues for 4th and 5th graders to enable them to build skills and experience a new sport in a supportive team environment.