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Lessons in Play: Podcast with Jill Vialet of Playworks

Catherine is a senior communications professional helping social change organizations tell their story in powerful ways. She has expertise in public health, environmental stewardship, philanthropy and education. Follow her on Twitter @CatBrozena

The school classroom is often considered the primary grounds through which adults help translate critical life skills to young, impressionable minds. In the classroom, kids learn their A,B,Cs. They get lessons in reading and grammar. They learn how to put math equations together and better understand the alignment of planets in the solar system.

But the classroom is certainly not the only place that life lessons are translated. In fact, as Jill Vialet would suggest, the playground is another essential and perhaps often underestimated place of learning.

Jill is the CEO and founder of Playworks, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to using the power of play to help young people build critical social and emotional skills, find confidence in themselves and learn positive cultural values, all while being active and having fun. She’s been an ambitious advocate for “the power of play to bring out the best in every kid” and help them “become the drivers of their own education.”

“The thing about playing together is that you come to know another person, you feel seen, you really get to see somebody else, there’s a sense of commonality. You play with someone, you start to get to know them, you build rapport and trust – that’s foundational to feeling safe which is fundamental to being able to address those bigger real hard issues that people deal with and especially what kids are just coming to terms with.”

Playworks is a trusted partner of Thriving Schools, helping to bring physical activity and build social and emotional skill-building to more than 900 schools in 23 U.S. cities, including many of the schools where we work.

In this brief podcast, Jill shares some of her insights about the lessons that kids and adults alike can all learn through play, with tips for how to make the most out of recess time in your school.

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