I am running the Boston Marathon on behalf of Playworks New England and I am SO excited.
Playworks is an amazing youth-focused organization that uses play to transform school communities.
In many schools these days, especially in low income urban areas, students don’t have enough un-structured recreational time. They aren’t getting active and they aren’t learning to respectfully interact with each other on the playground. When these things don’t happen it’s hard for kids to grow into responsible, well-rounded citizens and human beings.
I love Playworks because it teaches kids things like teamwork, perspective, respect, and leadership while playing actively and having fun.
Since I first learned about Playworks, I've been thinking about the ways play has impacted my own life. Here are a few examples:
I grew up playing all the time with my older brother. More often than not, he would beat me in whatever we were playing. As a result I learned that I’m not always going to win, and that’s OK. I learned that the best way to get better at something is to play with someone who pushes you to do your best, and respects you no matter the outcome.
I grew up playing with my cousins who are all boys. As a result I learned that girls can and should do anything that boys do. I gained confidence to play with boys at recess and I learned not to pay any mind to teasing or discouragement.
I grew up playing many different sports. I also ended up quitting many different sports—baseball, softball, lacrosse, ultimate frisbee, ballet, horeseback riding—among other extracurricular activities. As a result I learned that it's important to try new things, but it’s also OK to quit something if it doesn’t bring you joy.
I grew up playing soccer which I LOVED. I think learned more over my years playing recreational, competitive, and collegiate soccer than I did from any other activity in my life—and honestly that might include school.
When I think about all the opportunities I had to play as a kid and how essential they were in helping me become who I am today, it makes me both incredibly sad that some kids don't have those opportunities AND incredibly excited about Playworks.
I’ve visited schools and seen firsthand the difference that Playworks makes. Because of Playworks, kids have fun and get along at recess. Teachers learn how to incorporate play into the school day. Playworks Coaches provide support and encouragement to every student every day. Students get leadership opportunities and chances to play in organized sports leagues for the first time. Because of Playworks, shcool environments are fun, active, and inclusive, and EVERYBODY in the school benefits.
In my ideal world, every elementary school in the country (…in the WORLD) would be able to provide Playworks programming to students. While I’m not sure I can make that happen, I CAN do my part to support Playworks programming in my community. That is why I am a full time employee for Playworks New England AND that is why I’m running the Boston Marathon.
What You Can Do
My goal is to raise $8,500 for Playworks and I cannot do it without the support of everyone in my network. Please give in any capacity you can. No gift is too small (or too big!).
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions about Playworks (or if you want to go running with me) between now and April, don’t hesitate to reach out!