Recess also presents social and emotional challenges for our children as they attempt to navigate the relational trials of this less-structured portion of their day.  It is our responsibility to provide a safe play environment for kids while also teaching them skills that help them get along and have fun.

    With this in mind and as we excitedly plan ahead for the best use of our soon-to-be expanded playground space, we are thrilled to work with an organization called Playworks as they provide training to AACA staff on how we can keep recess fun, safe, healthy and inclusive. 

    • What is Playworks and how can I learn more about it?
    Playworks is a national nonprofit organization that provides training and support to schools and organizations that wish to support fun, teamwork, conflict resolution, safety and inclusiveness on their playgrounds at recess and throughout the school day.  Through on-site direct service and trainer-led professional development workshops, Playworks restores valuable teaching time, reduces bullying, increases physical activity and improves the school and learning environment.
    • How does the Playworks approach benefit our students?

    The Playworks approach ensures that recess is safe, healthy, and inclusive for every child.  Through choice, stations and skill practice, Playworks builds the culture of play at a school so that all kids enjoy and benefit from recess time.  Playworks also introduces games that encourage kids to take ever-increasing responsibility for the quality of play and for each other. Ultimately this unique brand of play fosters greater independence and leadership among children.

    • Will Playworks take away kids’ abilities to just run and be free during recess?

    No!  The Playworks approach encourages kids of all ages to play freely by providing a safe environment where students have the skills to play with less conflict, and ultimately with more fun.

    • Many kids love playing organized sports, like soccer and football, during recess. How will Playworks impact that?

    The Playworks approach rethinks how organized sports are played in the recess environment.  For example, organized sports are played in a rotational manner in order to ensure all boys and girls benefit from the physical activity of play; rather than benefiting a few students while others sit on the sidelines.  This approach creates a more inclusive environment in which boys and girls of all skill levels feel safe playing.    

    • How does Playworks Parents (formerly called Kindness Club, our Parent Lunch/Recess Volunteer Program) fit into Playworks?
    Our Playworks Parents program will continue to be an important part of our lunch/recess program at AACA.  Please contact Val Grondy at vgrondy@alphonsusacademdy.org if you are interested in volunteering with or click here for current volunteer opportunities.  
    Equipped with Playworks training, our faculty and dedicated parent volunteers will maximize the return on recess