Georgia SHAPE Partners With Playworks To Improve Recess


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Georgia Shape, a statewide initiative which seeks to bring an additional 30 minutes of physical activity to every elementary school in Georgia has partnered with the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation and Playworks, an organization that works to improve the quality of recess by creating a bully-free zone.

Through the partnership, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, commissioner Georgia Department of Public Health, said in a Crossroads news article, that the aim would be to  make recess safer by providing support and training to staff for delivering the Playworks curriculum to at least 35,000 students at elementary schools across the state. To support this effort and to make recess more inclusive,  the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation provided an additional $750,000 in grant funds towards the Georgia Shape initiative.

Some of the noted benefits of the Playworks program include:

  • Additional minutes of instruction time (through a smooth transition from recess to classroom learning activities);
  • Fewer bullying incidents compared to non Playworks schools;
  • Increased feelings or safety; and
  • Higher levels of vigorous physical activity (14%  vs. 10% of recess time).

“High-quality recess is a game-changer,”  said in a Georgia Department of Public Health press release. “Increased physical activity results in fewer disciplinary incidents, teachers see more instructional time, and students are better prepared to learn.”

Playworks currently operates in 23 cities and 380 schools throughout the country. With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and others, Playworks’ goal is to reach more than a million children every day by 2016.

Read more on this here.

Do you know of any schools working to improve the state of recess for kids through initiatives like this? If so, visit the suggest a policy page and tell us about it!

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of Latino parents support public funding for afterschool programs

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