Playworks, which works with school districts to improve recess through on-site training, consultative support, and professional development, has announced a grant of nearly $4.6 million from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation to expand the organization's programs in southeast Michigan and western New York.
The funding will enable Playworks to train more than four thousand school staff and those of other youth-serving organizations in the two regions. In western New York, the grant also will enable the organization to offer direct service coaching for kids for the first time. In previous years, Playworks has trained school staff to create and maintain recess throughout the school year.
"We are excited to grow our relationship with the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. Together we will create sustainable change by ensuring [that] kids experience safe and healthy play in western New York and southeast Michigan," said Elizabeth Cushing, president of Playworks, which previously received a $1.14 million grant from the foundation. "We will also be applying over twenty years of experience working with elementary schools to support early childhood education of three- and four-year-old children for the first time."
"We are serious about the importance of play in our communities," said Jim Boyle, vice president of programs and communications at the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. "Playworks thoughtful approach to recess and play for elementary students, and now even younger children, has the power to improve the physical and social-emotional well-being of children in southeast Michigan and western New York."