Playworks launches online resource in response to COVID-19
A healthy, active lifestyle has countless benefits for adults and children alike, including physical, social and emotional. But in a time of a global pandemic, when schools and businesses are forced to close and families are sheltering in their homes, physical activity and play have perhaps never been more important.
Enter: Playworks Michigan.
After a decade of providing resources for children directly on school grounds – including through a partnership with Dearborn Public Schools – the nonprofit organization Playworks Michigan quickly pivoted in the face of the COVID-19 crisis and changed up its strategy to offer parents the tools they need to keep children active at home.
An online resource called Play at Home was recently unveiled with countless activities through which families can stay active and engaged with one another while sheltering at home. The games are searchable by a child’s age and type of activity and require very little, if any, equipment to organize.
“Play is one of the most important things for children right now and we’re making sure we are giving them as many opportunities as we can to keep them moving and active,” said Angela Rogensues, executive director of Playworks Michigan. “This online resource is amazing – I would encourage every parent to take a look at it and take advantage of it.”
Additionally, Playworks coaches are facilitating 10- to 15-minute live recess sessions online Monday through Friday at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. EDST on Facebook Live for children and parents to follow along. The videos are then uploaded to Playworks’ YouTube page.
Participants are encouraged to post photos and videos of their families engaged in Playworks’ activities using the hashtag #PlayatHome or #PlayworksatHome and follow along to see what others are sharing from their own experiences.
“As an organization, we are always working to meet schools and children where they are, and with schools closed across the country, we wanted to help as many kids as possible during this unprecedented time,” Rogensues said. “We feel that every child deserves the opportunity to play and to do so safely and in an inclusive way.”
Playworks partners with schools, districts, and afterschool programs nationally to provide a mix of services including on-site coaches, professional training for school staff and consultative partnerships. Through the power of play, children learn skills that can help them be successful in life such as conflict resolution, negotiation and teamwork.
Last year, Playworks reached nearly 78,000 children in Michigan, including those in Dearborn Public Schools.
“We turn the playground into a beautiful place where every kid can feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills,” Rogensues said.
As a nonprofit organization, a key source of funding for Playworks Michigan programming is through donations. To make a donation to support the ongoing efforts to bring the power of play to children in – and now out of – school, go to playworks.org/Michigan.