FUNDING ANTI-BULLYING, DISCIPLINE, AND STUDENT FOCUS: GAME ON!/PLAYWORKS
PLAYWORKS, branded as Game On! in our district, is a national organization that believes in the power of play to bring out the best in every child. Principals report that nearly all discipline-related problems in school occur during lunch and recess. Instead of going back to class energized and ready to learn, kids return to class upset and unable to focus.
Carefully organized play can change this. Recess should be fun and energetic and safe and inclusive for everyone. When recess becomes a healthy, integral part of the school day, kids carry that positive experience with them beyond the playground.
Thanks to GAME ON! and Playworks, our kids are becoming leaders. They run their own games and settle disputes quickly (rock-paper-scissors is our conflict resolution tool) because getting along is more fun than fighting. Where bullying and bad feelings once prevailed, kids play hard, cheer loud, and high five with joy. And they carry a feeling of empowerment and belonging with them into their classrooms, back to their neighborhoods and out into the world.
PLAYWORKS is up and running in 12 PSUSD elementary schools (in all 16 by 2022), and the momentum around this program started by the generosity of the Fogelson Family Foundation continues to build.