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Case Study: Playground Renovation Promotes a Supportive School Climate

The school playground is an important place.

Recognizing this, staff at Harmony Elementary in Vancouver, Washington, took steps to think strategically about creating a playground environment that supports positive behaviors, such as active play and cooperation, and discourages negative behaviors, such as bullying.

A case study of Thriving Schools in action lays out Harmony Elementary’s journey. Read the full case study.

Inspired to realize the vision for a healthy, positive school playground: case study highlights

To revamp their playground to ensure it offered a physically and emotionally positive recess environment, the school purchased a variety of equipment for active play —tetherballs, basketballs, volleyballs, soccer balls, and nets and rims.

  • The upgraded playground provided staff with a new approach to interacting with students during recess.
  • Engaging teachers and recess staff was key, particularly in training and mapping out planning for recesses.
  • Through structured games and group activities, students have engaged in new forms of active play while being encouraged by staff to solve problems in a peaceful, positive way.

Thriving Schools Action Plan Grants are sponsored by Kaiser Permanente and implemented in partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program.

Learn more about action plan success stories and creating healthy school environments for students and staff.

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