Playworks

Now in its 17th year of operation nationally, and their 5th year locally, Playworks provides opportunities for physical activity and safe meaningful play in low-income, urban elementary schools. Currently in 25 schools in LA County, they will serve 35 schools by the year 2017. Children in these particular schools live in gang and/or drug infested neighborhoods with very little access to safe parks and gymnasiums. Playworks places full-time, well-trained, adult coaches to teach and organize games and physical activities before, during, and after school, in order to positively impact children's cognitive, social, and physical development. Our grant for $16,800.00 will be used to purchase 840 quality, distinguished, numbered jerseys for their interscholastic & developmental sports leagues, skill camps, tournaments, extravaganzas, and jamborees. 175 teams practice at least four times a week and have one evening game per week for six weeks for each sport. 900 4th and 5th graders will use the jerseys the first year; by 2017, 2100 kids will wear the jerseys which will all have the WHY logo. All games are inclusive, do not keep score, and the coaches do not hesitate to stop a game to explain a rule. Preparing for a sporting event by putting on a jersey for the first time gives children that critical feeling that they are equal to every other child raised in an organized sports environment, empowering them with a sense of pride that they would not normally have living in an underserved neighborhood. Benefits are long-reaching including improved confidence, connectedness to teammates and school, leadership skills, positive sporting behavior, learning how to manage oneself in a social and group environment and motivation to continue playing on teams beyond elementary school.