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.
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.