Donor Spotlight: El Camino Hospital & El Camino Healthcare District

We had the pleasure of speaking with Barbara Avery, Director of Community Benefit at El Camino Hospital and to get her perspective on our long-standing partnership. El Camino Hospital and the El Camino Healthcare District supported 11 of our direct-service schools this year alone and have been great partners since 2009.

Photo of Barbara Avery from the Silicon Valley Business Journal
Photo of Barbara Avery from the Silicon Valley Business Journal

There are hundreds of amazing organizations in our community, what made Playworks stand out to El Camino Hospital and the El Camino Healthcare District?

We started funding Playworks in 2009 because the program seemed like a simple way to get more physical activity into the school day but we soon realized that the many layers of the program made it very sophisticated providing value to students on so many levels. Playworks program components combine to make it very effective in changing the school climate into a place with fewer altercations on the playground, increased physical activity and students competent in resolving conflicts. Having an adult on the playground every day acting as a role model is extremely important for the development of children.

We have known of principals who require having the Playworks program as a condition of moving to a new school or school district. They really get the significance of the program!

What successes keep El Camino Hospital and the El Camino Healthcare District continually supporting Playworks Silicon Valley?

Playworks is helping to develop children with strong health and emotional awareness. We believe they will take their enjoyment of being physically active and their knowledge of positive behavior and conflict resolution with them as they grow. As a health organization we are very concerned about childhood obesity and the growing pre-diabetes and diabetes epidemic. Programs like Playworks guarantees that kids get real exercise and movement throughout the day. One success we’ve been interested to see are principals reporting they gain 45-90 minutes of time back daily from not having to deal with altercations or conflicts occurring on the playground. We feel Playworks is an excellent partner in our Community Benefit work and provides exceptional results.

What’s your favorite part of the job?

I’ve always been very interested in health and wellness and am excited when I find programs that not only show real time results but have a trajectory of changing lives for the long term. Being part of a team that’s positively influencing these children about the importance and value of physical and emotional well-being is very satisfying. Visiting a school pre-Playworks and six weeks later is astounding! The transformation is visible in every corner of the school yard. It makes you a believer!

Thank you El Camino Hospital and the El Camino Healthcare District for being incredible partners in bringing play and physical activity to more than 5000 children in Silicon Valley!


About:  El Camino Healthcare District and El Camino Hospital have individually funded Community Benefit programs, sharing a common goal: to improve the health and well-being of our community. Both funds address this goal by funding programs and activities that foster the health of the community as a whole. A few key priorities include healthcare access, mental health, healthy eating and physical activity and community health education.

Partnership: El Camino Hospital and the El Camino Healthcare District have partnered with Playworks since 2009 on direct school service programs as well as collaborating on other projects El Camino Hospital and the District provides funding for, such as 5210 and HealthTeacher/GoNoodle. This collaboration allows for a more seamless message of health and wellness provided to students in the elementary schools Playworks Silicon Valley serves.

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Donor Spotlight: 49ers Foundation

49ers-KidWe had the pleasure of speaking with Joanne Pasternack, Executive Director of the 49ers Foundation and Community Relations for the San Francisco 49ers to dive a bit deeper into this incredible foundation.

Why did Playworks seem like a great fit for the 49ers Foundation?

Not only does Playworks have an established reputation and history of impact but beyond that, it is a cause that many of the 49ers players can relate to as professional athletes who cherished their time outside and the structure play brought to their school days. For many, Playworks would have been a valuable program to have when they were in school, keeping them focused on both their academics and their athletics, allowing each to compliment the other. The 49ers Foundation understand that Playworks mission to ensure that all children play at recess ensures that children enter the classroom focused and ready for academics.

Where did the Touchdown for Kids program originate and what would you say is it’s greatest success?

The idea originated through a conversation with Tad Taube of Taube Philanthropies and the Koret Foundation. Mr. Taube had been doing a similar program – called “Aces for Kids” – with the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament at Stanford each year and saw that it could easily translate to football. By aligning giving with on-field performance, it created an exciting interactive platform for philanthropy for fans, beneficiaries, and players It has been fun to see some of our 49ers players make the connection – their enthusiasm is both inspiring and heartwarming.


Despite the final outcome of the season, the beneficiaries of Touchdowns for Kids still saw great success from the 49ers on-field performance, leading to $50,000 for each of the five selected non-profits – a total of $250,000 was donated to Bay Area non-profits through Touchdowns for Kids in 2014.

Playworks was invited to celebrate this big win for the community, along with the other beneficiaries, in an on-field pre-game check presentation ceremony prior to the 49ers game versus the San Diego Chargers on December 20. This funding will help to provide more than 25,000 kids with safe, productive play in Northern California this year.

Thank you Tad Taube, Joanne Pasternack and the 49ers, Taube and Koret Foundations for being incredible partners for kids across the Bay Area. Also a big congratulations to the 49ers for their bold coaching choice in bringing on Jim Tomsula, an amazing football coach and a flat out awesome man from a great family! We look forward to great success next season!


About: The San Francisco 49ers Foundation is the non-profit community funding extension of the San Francisco 49ers. Now in its 24th year, the 49ers Foundation supports development programs for underserved youth that keep them, “Safe, On Track and In School.” Since 1992, the Foundation has donated over $27 million to support non-profits, including $4.6 million in 2014, including $1 million to support the 49ers Foundation’s new 49ers STEM Leadership Institute collaboration with the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, Santa Clara Unified School District and Chevron.

Partnership: This year Playworks Northern California was fortunate enough to be a part of the Touchdown for Kids (TFK) program sponsored by the 49ers Foundation, Taube Philanthropies and Koret Foundation. Funding for the organization is based on the 49ers’ successes on the field: every time the 49ers score a touchdown or field goal, or record an interception or sack, Touchdowns for Kids makes a donation to improve the lives of at-risk Bay Area youth. (More details here)

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