In our fourth spotlight of the series, Playworks Michigan is the star of the show.
Playworks Michigan is committed to helping schools and youth programs create recess and play environments where every child can join. With the support of its parent organization, Playworks, they help schools and districts make the most of recess through on-site staffing, consultative support, professional development and free resources.
With nine years of partnership, Playworks Michigan is one of Detroit Lions Charities most tenured partners. Funding from Detroit Lions Charities supports implementation of recess and play-based programs in Michigan schools, where they otherwise may not have had the means to provide them.
As told by a representative of the Detroit Public Schools Community District, "Before Playworks, our recess times were just basic, supervised free time. But students did not always know what to play or how to get games started. We were not thinking of recess as part of the instructional day that should support students and promote their well-being just like any other part of the day."
In addition to funding, Lions players also support Playworks through the "Real Players Don't Bully" campaign during "Anti-bullying Month" in October. The players tap into their younger selves to provide insight on the importance of being kind to others before joining in on classic recess games with students. Roary and cheerleaders also participate, showing the students that the entire Lions organization is behind them in their goal of creating a more peaceful and constructive environment.
Like many other organizations in early 2020, Playworks Michigan quickly shifted their services to serve students at home via virtual recesses. By providing free online resources, Playworks was able to continue to serve their schools and keep kids active even while at home.
Looking towards the future, the Lions are excited to host the Playworks Flag Football Jamboree at Ford Field this fall. At the Flag Football Jamboree all students from Playworks' partner schools are invited for a day of fun and football.