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Playworks Helps Students in Hawaii Thrive with Recess Pilot Program

Kaiser Permanente partners continue to invest in the health and well-being of school communities nationwide

Students, teachers and staff at Kaneohe Elementary School in Hawaii are taking a proactive approach to getting their students up and moving during recess and teaching them important life skills along the way.

Staff and students of Kaneohe Elementary School cheer each other on in Playworks’ structured play curriculum.

Kaneohe Elementary is one of nine schools in Hawaii participating in a recess pilot program put on by Playworks, sponsored by Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. The program aims to not only increase physical activity through structured recess games, but also teach kids how to cooperate with each other and work together as a team. Having structured activities during recess gives all children the opportunity to participate with their classmates.

“After implementing Playworks, what we see is fewer students are standing on the side of the playground… instead it gives them the confidence and structure to jump right in,” said Derek Minakami, principal of Kaneohe Elementary.

Kids participate in Playworks recess activities.
Kids participate in Playworks recess activities.

Giving all kids an outlet to participate in physical activity creates a healthier school lifestyle and can reduce the risk of obesity. The program also empowers kids to work together and learn productive conflict-resolution strategies should problems arise. This takes the activity benefits beyond the physical elements, teaching problem-solving skills and cooperation.

Playworks hopes to implement this program across schools in Hawaii, furthering their goal of giving kids positive experiences that they will take back to the classroom, back to learning and back to their communities.

To learn more about Playworks, visit

Information in this post obtained from KITV-4 News in Hawaii.


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