Playworks redefining recess at a dozen metro Detroit schools - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

Playworks redefining recess at a dozen metro Detroit schools

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Jeanine Gant explained what Playworks is doing at a dozen schools in metro Detroit. Jeanine Gant explained what Playworks is doing at a dozen schools in metro Detroit.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Recess at Academy of the Americas in southwest Detroit is 20 minutes out of the day where all kids have to do is play, and that time is more valuable than you think.

"If you can actually get the kids out, physically active, teach them some conflict resolution skills, give them the opportunity to learn rules and play with their peers, that you actually increase academic time because teachers don't have to deal with the conflicts that come off playground yard," said Jeanine Gant with Playworks.

However, that time is being cut at some schools.

"Schools are really eliminating or reducing recess time for kids and especially if you're in a low income area, and a lot of it is because of bullying and fighting and lack of funding, lack of supervision," Gant said.

That is where Playworks comes in. The staff and their junior coaches play one-on-one with students creating a safe environment where kids can just have fun and learn some important lessons, many of which they teach to each other.

The lessons they are learning on the playground are making a difference in the classroom and beyond.

"It's helping them make good decisions about their own health and about how active they are, so it's really a lot of life skills that they're learning," Gant said.

Playworks is in twelve schools throughout metro Detroit and six within DPS. They are hoping to give even more elementary school kids a chance to play.

It costs $60,000 to operate a Playworks program in just one school. The school provides some of the money, but Playworks has to raise the rest. If you're interested in helping Playworks or you want to know how to get them in your school, visit their website at www.playworks.org/Detroit.

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