Kaiser Permanente Northwest Awards $225,000 Grant to Playworks

August 15, 2012 -- Playworks, a nonprofit that brings play and physical activity to 5,000 students every day at 12 Portland Metro Area schools, has received a $225,000 grant from Kaiser
Permanente Northwest’s Community Benefit Program to further Playworks’ goal of increasing opportunities for safe, meaningful play and physical activity. Funds will be used to increase the
access, opportunities and impact of play for 20,000 school aged children in our region.

Playworks is a 16 year-old national nonprofit that improves school climates by maximizing the potential of recess to reduce bullying and increase student engagement. Playworks direct service staff and certified trainers provide recess support, youth leadership programs, after school programming, sports leagues and techniques for kids to work through disputes safely and fairly,
like using Rock Paper Scissor.

“We are thrilled to deepen our partnership with Kaiser Permanente Northwest to help kids be healthy and ready to learn,” says Jonathan Blasher, Playworks Portland executive director. “This
support will help us continue our vision of ensuring that every child in the Pacific Northwest gets to experience a great school recess.”

As part of the one-year grant, Kaiser Permanente funds will support Playworks’:

  • Training and consultation services at over 40 schools in Cowlitz, Clark, Washington, Marion and Clackamas Counties
  • School-based direct service programming at two East Multnomah County schools
  • Junior Coach Program and Interscholastic Sports Leagues for 12-18 direct service programs in the Portland metro area


“Kaiser Permanente Northwest is dedicated to improving the health of the communities that we serve. This partnership with Playworks will allow us to support our common efforts in the region and increase the potential for schools to be a center of health, learning and well-being,” remarked Kaiser Community Benefit Manager, Molly Haynes.

The project is set to begin in late August and will continue through the school year, ending in June, 2013. Part of the grant will include opportunities for schools to apply for heavily discounted Playworks Training services beginning in mid-August.

About Playworks

Playworks is a 16 year-old national nonprofit organization that provides safe, healthy, inclusive play and physical activity to schools at recess and throughout the entire school day. Playworks
is the only nonprofit organization in the country to maximize the potential of recess by sending trained, full-time coaches to low-income, urban schools, training teachers and youth development professionals, and inspiring communities to adopt the power of play. Playworks currently serves more than 170,000 children in 380 low-income schools in 23 cities throughout the country every school day.

Playworks is in its fourth year in Portland, where it is bringing safe and inclusive play to 5,000 children in 12 low-income Portland metro area schools, improving school climate and boosting
academic performance.

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