More than 132,250 kids in nearly 350 schools will experience safe and healthy play every day as a result of this investment. This is the largest regional grant Playworks has ever received.
Press Release – Detroit, MI—Playworks, the leading national nonprofit leveraging the power of play to transform children’s social and emotional health, recently announced a multiyear grant of $4,590,371 from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to expand its programs in Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The award will allow Playworks to impact three times as many kids in these two regions over the next three years.
“We are excited to grow our relationship with the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. Together we will create sustainable change by ensuring 132,250 kids experience safe and healthy play in Western New York and Southeast Michigan,” said Elizabeth Cushing, President of Playworks. “We will also be applying over 20 years of experience working with elementary schools to support early childhood education of three and four-year-old children for the first time.”
Over 4,000 school staff and other youth serving organizations in both communities will be trained by Playworks as a result of this funding. In Western New York, this will also enable Playworks to offer direct service coaching for kids for the first time. In previous years, Playworks has impacted this community by training school staff to create and maintain a great recess throughout the school year.
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation has committed to providing grants to organizations focused on children and youth, young adults and working families, caregivers, and livable communities in Western New York and Southeast Michigan, communities in which Mr. Wilson lived and worked.
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation has supported Playworks for the past two years with a $1.14 million grant. Thanks to this initial funding, 70,157 kids in 158 schools are already experiencing safe and healthy play every day.
“We are serious about the importance of play in our communities,” said Jim Boyle, vice president of programs and communications, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “Playworks thoughtful approach to recess and play for elementary students, and now even younger children, has the power to improve the physical and social-emotional well-being of children in Southeast Michigan and Western New York.”
Playworks is the leading national nonprofit leveraging the power of play to transform children’s physical and emotional health. We are changing school culture by leveraging the power of safe, fun, and healthy play at school. We create a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills. Our vision is for 3.5 million kids in 7,000 elementary schools nationwide to experience safe and healthy play every day by 2020. For more information, visit: www.playworks.org.
About Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation:
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a grantmaking organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The two areas reflect Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.’s devotion to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his Buffalo Bills franchise. Prior to his passing in 2014, Mr. Wilson requested that a significant share of his estate be used to continue a life-long generosity of spirit by funding the foundation that bears his name. The foundation has a grantmaking capacity of $1.2 billion over a 20-year period, which expires January 8, 2035. This structure is consistent with Mr. Wilson’s desire for the foundation’s impact to be immediate, substantial, measurable, and overseen by those who knew him best. For more information, visit www.rcwjrf.org
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