On October 27, almost 250 students and parents participated in the Bloomfield Hills Schools Make A Difference Day project to benefit Playworks (www.playworks.org). Playworks, who was recently named the official Play 60 partner for the Detroit Lions, promotes physical activity and safe, meaningful play at Detroit area schools and throughout the community.
During the month of October, Bloomfield Hills Schools students raised over $12,000 ($12,203.75 and counting!) through activities, such as penny wars, bake sales and wrist band sales with sayings like “I helped save recess” and "Peace and Foursquare”. Make a Difference Day, sponsored by the Bloomfield Hills Schools PTO Council featured activities like making jump ropes out of recycled materials, painting benches for school playgrounds and a special visit from Lions mascot, Roary, and former Lions linebacker, Alex Lewis (2004 – 2008).
“Our goal was to raise enough money to pay for a Playworks coach for one year,” said Sarah Saltzman, PTOC Community Service Co-Chair. “We were thrilled that our kids raised enough money to pay for two Playworks coaches.” Saltzman, who has been a part of Make a Difference Day in Bloomfield Hills Schools for well over a decade, says that it’s important for the students to help others and give back to other local communities. “Our students recognize how important recess is to them and they want to make sure that all students wherever they attend school can have recess, too,” she said.
Mary Koerner, PTOC Community Service Co-Chair was overwhelmed by the event’s success. “We were fortunate to have the support of so many local businesses. Meijer’s, Lowe’s and The Paint Store generously donated materials to use for our projects. The students worked hard and had fun,” Koerner said.
Playworks supports play at hundreds of schools across the country, helping to transform recess into a tool to support learning. Coaches become part of the school family, getting to know the students and staff and helping to make the playground a virtual classroom where students learn teamwork, conflict resolution, creative problem solving and other life lessons that stretch beyond traditional classroom activities. The result is a stronger learning community and a more positive educational environment.