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98 Percent of Staff at Playworks Utah Partner Schools Report Increase in Number of Physically Active Students

Press Release – Salt Lake City, UT — July 11, 2017 — Playworks, founded in Oakland in 1996, is the leading national nonprofit leveraging the power of play to transform children’s social and emotional health. During the 2016-17 school year, Playworks Utah partnered with 58 elementary schools and impacted 33,000 kids, with an aim to reach 175,000 kids in Utah by the year 2020 and transform the educational system in the process.

School administrators, teachers, and staff have validated that Playworks works. The organization obtained data from a Spring 2017 survey of staff including administrators, teachers, and support staff at schools partnering with Playworks to achieve safe and healthy play. 98 percent of school staff surveyed (629 respondents) reported an increase in the number of students that are physically active due to Playworks programming.

According to a 2017 study released by Get Healthy Utah, the percentage of obese adults in Utah has more than doubled since 1989, and more than half of Utah adults (60%) are overweight or obese. Proactively instilling the importance of exercise early in life can lead to kids adopting a healthier lifestyle.

“One of our goals is to help kids become more physically active through recess at a young age. By experiencing and enjoying a daily routine of physical activity, they are more likely to develop healthy habits that will last well into adulthood,” said Chris Conard, Playworks Utah Executive Director.

The results of the survey also showed a decrease in bullying incidents and number of conflicts, and an increase in students’ level of participation in academic activities and ability to focus in class.

Additional data from the Playworks Spring 2017 Study:

  • 88 percent of staff reported a decrease in bullying incidents.
  • 87 percent of staff reported a decrease in the number of conflicts (physical or verbal).
  • 94 percent of staff reported an increase in student’s level of participation in academic activities.
  • 96 percent of staff agree that Playworks improves overall school climate.
  • 97 percent of staff agree that Playworks creates a safe and effective learning environment.
  • 93 percent of staff report that Playworks helps students develop necessary skills to succeed in the classroom, community, and workplace.

About Playworks

Playworks is the leading national nonprofit leveraging the power of play before, during, and after school to transform children’s physical and emotional health. Playworks Utah currently serves 58 schools and reaches over 33,000 kids throughout Utah. Through inclusive, safe, and healthy play, Playworks is helping to improve students’ behavior and their attitude towards school; increasing students’ level of daily physical activity; fostering more empathetic kids; and ultimately developing more engaged and productive citizens. We change kids’ experience of school through fun active play every school day. For more information, visit www.playworks.org/communities/utah.


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