Read Related: 6 Things Parents Should Know About BullyingBefore the school day even starts, Playworks coaches, or program coordinators, get the kids’ heart rates up and get them active with their parents. “We’ve noticed that attendance rates have gone up and tardiness has gone down just by creating this opportunity for families to play together before the school day begins,” continues Vanark. According to the study, teachers reported that Playworks students were more likely to have better behavior and attention in the class after sports, games and play. Teachers in Playworks schools also perceived that students felt safer and more included at recess and nearly 100 percent reported that they wanted the program in their school again the following year.
“We’ve started a before-school recess program at many of our schools with predominantly Latino populations so we can engage those parents walking with their children to and from school,” says Bill Vanark, a Playworks program director who oversees 26 elementary schools in San Francisco.