Playworks began in 1996, started by a woman named Jill Vialet. Her vision was simple, that every child in America would get to play, everyday. The mission is to improve the health and well-being of children by increasing opportunities for physical activity and safe, meaningful play. Through partnerships with districts, schools, and after school programs, Playworks creates a place on the playground for children to feel included, be active, and build vital social and emotional skills. Playworks teaches students the important skills of conflict resolution, teamwork and empathy on the playground, in the classroom and before and after school, through games and activities. In 20 years, the organization has grown to 23 cities and more than 1,300 schools.
In 2011, Playworks began programming in Illinois. Today they are present in 45 elementary schools and youth organizations reaching 30,000 students this year. Here in Chicago their goal is to reach as many schools as possible to help them achieve a high level of healthy play and empower them to continue the Playworks model on their own.
In March, Performance in Motion took part in a Playworks Extravaganza event; an opportunity to step in to the work that Playworks is doing in our community and experience the excitement of play, and then in May, PIM will team up with Playworks to help lead 3rd and 4th grade students in safe and effective warm-up exercises for the start of their Interscholastic Soccer Leagues.
We are so thankful for the opportunity to support programs and organizations that value movement and people, while challenging the epidemic of physical illiteracy amongst our youth head on. Check out the link below for more information about this great organization.