2017 Mesa Leadership Class Project

Schools are a vital part of our community, providing a place where learning and relationships grow through lesson plans and classroom activities. Often these goals are sidelined however, not by what happens in the classroom, but rather on the playground.
Recess can be a source of stress, exclusion and bullying for many students, which impacts their performance when they return to class, and in some instances affects student attendance throughout the year.

Enter Playworks, a program designed to make recess fun for everyone, but also to help build healthy relationships, and teach the value of fair play, compassion and respect. Playworks also helps to develop leadership skills and team building, which the students carry with them back into class, into their neighborhoods and even into the world. The program is also in use at other facilities (daycares, community centers) where playtime is part of the curriculum.

Does it work? Every year, Playworks surveys teachers, staff and principals at partner schools to help them learn more about the impact of the program. Here’s what they had to say:

  • 97 percent reported an increase of students engaged in healthy play;
  • 93 percent reported an increase in the level of participation in academic activities;
  • 88 percent reported that students increased their physical activity;
  • 93 percent reported an increase of students’ use of conflict resolution strategies.

Click here to see a spotlight video on Playworks Arizona!

The Mesa Leadership Training and Development Class of 2017 (MLTD 2017) is excited
and proud to help Mesa schools interested in adopting the Playworks program to make
their recess a time of community and not conflict. We see the value in teaching our kids
these basic life skills now to make them stronger, more confident and more involved
members of the community.

Our project will leverage the time, work, and resources of the 26 members of MLTD
2017 to place Playworks in three Mesa Public Schools that have already expressed interest. Please consider a donation to help us provide beautification for their playgrounds and training for their staff to run the programs. For each school, the costs are relatively modest:

  • $500 beautifies a playground to incorporate the Playworks games
  • $3500 provides 12 hours of training, 6 hours of consultations, and a full equipment
    package to implement the Playworks program

We are requesting that you join us in “creating a legacy of learning through play” by
contributing to our project, ideally by sponsoring a school ($4,000), although any
donation is welcome! Our goal is to provide these three schools with the full
implementation of the Playworks program ($12,000) to make a lasting impact by Spring
2017. How amazing would it be if we could add more to that list?!

Playworks is a registered 501(c)3 organization, which began serving three schools in
Arizona in 2012. Today their program has expanded to serve 47 schools and impacts
over 30,000 kids each day. Your donation is tax deductible and can serve even more
children in the years to come.