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Clarkston Community School District

NSE Awarded $13,500 Playworks Grant

North Sashabaw Elementary School recently applied for and was awarded a $13,500 Playworks Recess Grant to increase physical activity and social-emotional skills for students. The grant provides training for staff to learn ways to help students experience and benefit from recess, as well physical education tools to help optimize recess time.

As part of the training, the NSE team learned games and behavior management strategies, planning and mapping out the design of the playground area, planning all recess systems, and developed an action plan to implement those systems. In addition, Playworks instructors showed school staff and faculty how to help students work out issues or conflicts on the playground, allowing the students to benefit not only physically but socially.

Playworks GrantIn addition to the training, NSE has received new recess equipment, and ongoing support. Building aides at NSE have embraced the program, and are incorporating the Playworks language and methodologies into everyday interactions with students. Sydney Thon, a recess aide at NSE (and a graduate of Clarkston High School), also created a Playworks bulletin board for students and staff on campus, as a reminder to utilize Playworks "attention getters" and "learning zones." The board will also feature the "Game of the Week" each week.

North Sashabaw Elementary School Principal Jennifer Johnson said, "The importance of play cannot be understated. Getting outside, interacting with classmates, utilizing games and equipment to be physically active...all these things bring balance to our students' day."

She continued, "I love what my team is doing with Playworks! They have taken this on, and are just running with it. I couldn't be more proud, and I look forward to seeing how it enhances the recess experience here at North Sashabaw."

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Playworks is the leading national nonprofit leveraging the power of play to transform children's social and emotional health. Through direct-service coaching and training, Playworks partners with elementary schools, districts, and after-school programs to integrate games into recess to create a welcoming place for every child on the playground. With an emphasis on social-emotional learning and skill-building, students feel included while being active and developing valuable skills needed to thrive in the classroom and beyond. Playworks is ensuring that 1 million kids at 2,000 schools experience safe and healthy play every day in the 2017-2018 school year.

Read more about Playworks Michigan here.

About Clarkston Community Schools: Clarkston is a highly regarded school district with an enrollment of nearly 8,000 students. We have seven elementary schools (K-5), one middle school serving grades 6-7, one junior high for grades 8-9, and Clarkston High School, which serves students in grades 10-12. We also have an Early Childhood Center serving children ages 3-5, and an alternative high school/community education facility. Each Clarkston Community Schools' student is fully engaged in a globally focused education, from preschool through graduation, that fosters in students a sense of self, perspective, responsibility/ownership, and contribution. The mission of Clarkston Community Schools is to cultivate thinkers, learners and positive contributors to a global society.

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