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Case Study: Playground Renovation Promotes a Supportive School Climate

Greg Crump is a senior communications consultant for Kaiser Permanente and the father of two school-aged children. He has more than a decade of experience working with nonprofits, community organizations and local government.

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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