Playworks has announced grants totaling $26 million in support of the expansion of its programs for schoolchildren across the country.
The funding, most of it from the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, the Horace W. Goldsmith and S.D. Bechtel, Jr. foundations, and the Jenesis Group, will support Playworks AIM, an effort to bring safe and healthy activities to some 3.5 million children nationwide and build their social and emotional skills through daily play by the end of 2020. As part of that effort, Playworks will expand its coaching and training services and add team-based online learning and strategic support for each school.
The organization, which is celebrating its twentieth anniversary, claims that its efforts have already helped increase physical activity, deepen social and emotional learning, and develop conflict resolution skills among tens of thousands of kids. "Playworks has already gotten further and achieved more than any of us could have dreamed — but there are still far too many children in this country, many of them in lower-income schools, who don't have access to safe and healthy play every day," said Playworks president Elizabeth Cushing. "AIM is our moon shot. It is our urgent demand to create a national campaign around recess and play, and thanks to the generosity of our funders, it starts now."