For 20 years, Playworks has been leveraging the power of safe, healthy play to help children build skills for success in school and in life. We are the largest national organization using play to transform school culture and bring out the best in every kid, reaching 1,800 schools and 900,000 students in 2016-17.
But what we do now is just a drop in the bucket. Our vision is that one day every child in America will have access to safe, fun, healthy play every day. And when we say every child, we mean it. Our strategic goal is that, across the country, 3.5 million kids in 7000 elementary schools will experience safe and healthy play by December 2020. This is 10% of all public elementary schools in the country -- a tipping point for widespread social change.
Powered by Playworks is our comprehensive strategy to change the education system and make this vision possible. In order to scale at this level, Playworks will have to expand beyond our current delivery models and build a Play Movement. We believe this is possible because demand for our services from schools and districts across the country shows that play is being widely recognized as a powerful strategy to improve the education environment.
Playworks’ growth plan up to now has focused on word-of-mouth expansion propelled by principals, teachers, and parents. In order to reach our goal, more leaders in education will have to understand what grassroots educators already know -- that play has the power to bring out the best in every kid and to transform school environments.
Over the next five years, Playworks will develop and innovate our services to ultimately embed healthy play into school and district operations. First, we will increase the number of schools implementing our model of play directly. Second, we will target strategic school districts to create partnerships that establish Playworks methodologies for the long term. Third, through digital tools and communications we will inspire and support schools remotely to join the Play Movement. We believe that as children’s outcomes improve at schools and throughout school districts, and as educators learn to maintain healthy play without our direct support, the Play Movement will grow.
We invite you to read our National Strategic Plan for building a Play Movement and to join us in our efforts to bring safe, healthy play to every kid every day.