Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 12, 2013

Push Playworks

Filed under: Alameda, School — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

Did everyone catch the awesome NPR piece on Playworks at Ruby Bridges?   #1 Daughter was super excited to listen because a few of her classmates were captured on the radio.   Chelsea Clinton (of those Clintons) linked to the NPR piece on her Facebook page as well.

Playworks, for those that don’t know, is a program that brings additional recess time to low income schools like Ruby Bridges.   If you listen to the audio it’s slightly different than the text that is below the photograph, I’ll be excerpting from the text, not from the transcript.  From the piece:

California mandates 400 minutes of recess a month, but Ruby Bridges has embraced expanded recess. Principal Jan Goodman says it’s an important tool to help promote a healthy lifestyle and help kids stay focused in class.

School districts that are cutting back on recess or physical education to save money or add instruction time should think twice, Goodman says. “It’s penny wise and pound foolish to cut back recess and put in academic time. Because, in the end, the kids won’t be prepared for academic time.

“It’s totally important for me to educate the whole child, and the body is part of the whole child,” Goodman adds. “And that’s what Playworks does: teaches you to work as a team and not always be concerned with winning.”

If I’m to go by just my kids and their friends’ assessment of Playworks then it is an overwhelmingly positive experience.   The kids adore Coach Kenny (Alameda resident by the way) and the play gets their little bodies active and gives them an outlet to release all of that additional energy.

But since we are on the topic of the largely low income population of Ruby Bridges — which is the reason why a program like Playworks is available to Ruby Bridges — I thought this article on Atlantic Cities was particularly sobering because a number of Ruby Bridges families — as mentioned in the piece — come from Alameda Point and the Alameda Point Collaborative which works to house formerly homeless families.   The article notes that the number of students who are homeless has risen dramatically.   Which makes programs like APC so crucial and mandates like McKinney Vento which makes it easier for homeless students to enroll in school — if you’ve ever enrolled a child you will know that the residency proof is pretty onerous — and ensures that the homeless student has transportation to school, this part is especially important:

The story of the girl on the Santa Clara bus, says Baldari, says a lot about the importance of federal regulations requiring school districts to make accommodations for homeless kids – allowing them to stay in their schools, providing special transportation arrangements if necessary. “Stable education is obviously so important, and school might be one stable place for these kids,” she says.



  1. We are very fortunate to have a school like Ruby Bridges and a principal like Jan Goodman who work tirelessly and without sufficient resources to serve the homeless and formerly homeless kids at APC. What makes their efforts even more amazing, the same federal regulations protecting homeless children is not keeping up with best practices and is in fact penalizing homeless children.

    Over the last few years there has been increasing recognition and studies that show that transitional housing (2 year stays) are not an effective means to end homelessness, particularly for kids. It can take a child that long to catch up in school, to then force them to relocate, often times re traumatizing them. APC has been converting most and eventually will convert all of our transitional housing to permanent supportive housing – designed to serve families with disabilities the greatest need, who are literally homeless (that means living in a place unfit for human habitation) at the time of application.

    Here is where the regulations get in the way. The Federal Education Department defines homeless a little differently, and does not consider someone in permanent supportive housing as homeless, thus they are not eligible for services. The Federal Education Department assumes that once someone is provided housing, all of the lost schooling, trauma, mental illness, etc. magically disappear. Luckily folks like Jan and the teachers at Ruby Bridges realize that isn’t the case, and work to provide every child the support they need. The back to school drive (shameless plug coming!) Equip for Success also is a tremendous help in providing back to school supplies to all of the “homeless” kids the local McKinney Vento staff can not serve.

    Comment by Doug Biggs — November 12, 2013 @ 10:34 am

  2. Since John volunteers daily at RB, and we go to the talent show, family heritage night, etc., I get to see the school community pretty often. It is amazing to me how so many levels of income and ethnicities merge at this school. I don’t think this is happenstance. I do think it is leadership and a lot of very dedicated teachers and staff, working together cohesively to make a good school community. I thank them for what they do, because it cannot be easy.

    Comment by Kate Quick,. — November 12, 2013 @ 11:40 am

  3. Re: NPR. Why is that redheaded kid hitting the hooded kid on the head with his white stick with a figurine on it? Must be what RB calls workplay.

    Comment by Jack Richard — November 12, 2013 @ 12:07 pm

  4. Not ‘happenstance’? Kate, by ‘merge’ you mean ‘all going to the same school’, right? Anywhere else those diverse levels merge unless they’re coerced…like prison, maybe or the military?

    Comment by Jack Richard — November 12, 2013 @ 12:20 pm

  5. No, Jack. I meant get along in a very natural manner. Interact. Live happily with others who are not like them. I do not discern much of ” there are us and there are the others”. And, it does not seem at all forced or mandatory. Unfortunately, in some schools people sort themselves out by race, ethnicity or economic status. Or, there is competition or tension among groups. I don’t see that happening at RB.

    Comment by Kate Quick — November 12, 2013 @ 2:03 pm

  6. UN-natural, I say these RB kids are. Pack some of that extra recess time in a bottle and deliver it to all those unfortunate other schools so they can be un-natural like RB. Or maybe that redheaded NPR kid is anointing the hooded kid with his happy wand.

    Comment by Jack Richard — November 12, 2013 @ 5:55 pm

  7. My PE teacher mother would be thrilled to hear about Playworks. She has always insisted that the students need outdoor activity in order to learn academics.
    Another program that existed for many years and I hope is still around now is intramural sports during lunch hour at Lincoln MS. My daughter loved this– it was every day, totally coed, and every few weeks they changed sports, from touch football to soccer to basketball, volleyball, etc. They had quite a few teams going and I think even had round robin tournaments at the end of each sport.

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — November 12, 2013 @ 8:25 pm

  8. I personally believe that PE in schools is a waste of academic time. I say limit PE to one period like 30 minutes and two short recesses, one in the morning and one in the afternoon and spend the rest of school time in stringent academics. After all, academics is what it’s all about and what we are paying for and that’s the one area in which public schools are failing on a massive level.

    Comment by Jack Richard — November 12, 2013 @ 8:53 pm

  9. don’t think you get it. Here is the philosophy…

    Playworks is the only nonprofit organization in the country providing trained, full-time coaches focused on recess to hundreds of low-income schools in major urban areas. We also provide training and technical assistance to schools, districts and youth organizations that want to ensure that every kid plays – safely, inclusively and with joy.

    Principals and teachers at our schools want us back every year, telling us that that disciplinary issues are down and engagement and participation in the classroom is up — dramatically. They tell us there’s more community at their schools with kids playing outside their normal groups. And they tell us that there’s more time for students to learn because teachers spend less time transitioning from recess to the classroom, and fewer conflicts spilling into it. In fact, around the country our teachers tell us they get back around 20 hours in recovered teaching time.

    They tell us that the safe and healthy play Playworks brings to schools helps students succeed in the classroom — and in life.

    Comment by commonsense — November 12, 2013 @ 9:39 pm

  10. Irony check here. I believe Jack R. is doing that Jack R. thing. He’s saying that schools should have both a 30 min PE period and two separate recess periods which would already exceed the state mandated 400 hours per month (about 20 minutes per day). If he’s not being ironic then he’s just being contrarian.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 13, 2013 @ 5:40 am

  11. This is funny. Kids who are low income and so called disadvantaged are encouraged to play more and study less. This way, will surely grow up to be just as poor and pathetic as their parents were. No need to worry though, by then Alameda Point Collaborative will surely have converted the entire city of Alameda to a luxury homeless shelter with free food, utilities, and recreation for all.

    Comment by Beets — November 13, 2013 @ 8:13 am

  12. Beets, maybe you missed this part: Principals and teachers at our schools want us back every year, telling us that that disciplinary issues are down and engagement and participation in the classroom is up — dramatically. They tell us there’s more community at their schools with kids playing outside their normal groups. And they tell us that there’s more time for students to learn because teachers spend less time transitioning from recess to the classroom, and fewer conflicts spilling into it. In fact, around the country our teachers tell us they get back around 20 hours in recovered teaching time.

    They tell us that the safe and healthy play Playworks brings to schools helps students succeed in the classroom — and in life.

    The folks at the collaborative are not living in the lap of luxury. Go there and volunteer and maybe your judgement will be altered. The kids have not had the advantages of most kids and need help. This is not fostering dependence, it is preparing them to take their place with more advantaged kids and compete on a more even playing field.

    Comment by Kate Quick,. — November 13, 2013 @ 8:25 am

  13. Okay, so you’ve got the miracle workers controlling the playground, which, if I’m not mistaken is where all the bullying takes place, ergo the bullying ends. In exchange, with everybody merging into one big happy healthy group, why do we need to waste classroom time with classes on LGBTXYZ, which, if I understand it, is on the curriculum because of bullying? Correct? Under this new enlightened Playwork regiment, seems to me like it would be a win win situation for all if LG…etc is deep nixed from the curriculum to gain some real usable learning experience time for the kids.

    Kate, your #12 is confusing. Shouldn’t you put quotation marks around a passage you copied from someone else? If so, it’s off the playground and back into the classroom with you, you’ve been taking way too much recess time

    Comment by Jack Richard — November 13, 2013 @ 9:49 am

  14. Hmmm…

    “…40 percent of teachers reported that Playworks resulted in
    students using ro-sham-bo in class to resolve conflicts or make decisions…”

    1. roshambo
    a game; to kick each other in the balls over an object, last one standing wins.

    Comment by Jack Richard — November 13, 2013 @ 12:23 pm

  15. Rochambeau:
    An alternate name for rock-paper-scissors, spelled “Roshambo,” “Ro-sham-bo,” or “Ro-Sham-Bo

    seriously: your source is urban dictionary- urban slang? tell only 1/2 the story much?

    Comment by Donalda — November 13, 2013 @ 12:54 pm

  16. It’s nice to see the South Park definition of Roshambo take over the Urban Dictionary and be offered up as a valid definition when even the paper quoted uses “(rock-paper-scissors)” to define the word.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 13, 2013 @ 1:36 pm

  17. Serious though, if you peruse the report I linked to, “Findings from a Randomized
    Experiment of Playworks: Selected Results from Cohort 1”, which was one of the few studies I could find analyzing Playworks, you will find that teachers mostly like Playworks but students are pretty much blah about it. For instance:

    Page 11
    School Climate.
    Playworks had a positive impact on two of the five teacher-reported measures of school climate but had no significant impact on the three student-reported measures of school climate (see Exhibit 1 and Appendix 2, Table 3). In particular, with regard to feelings of safety at school and sense of community, teachers in treatment schools were significantly more likely than teachers in control schools to report positive perceptions of students’ safety and engagement in inclusive behavior at recess. Playworks had no significant impact, however, on students’ feelings of safety at recess or school or about how well students and teachers treat each other within the school community.

    Page 14
    Recess Experience.
    Playworks had a positive impact on teacher perceptions of students’ recess experiences but did not lead to any significant differences on student-reported perceptions of recess.

    These results are not surprising to me. What teacher would not want to be relieved of playground supervising in this day and age. Whether or not Playworks really impacts the students in a positive manner is a different matter but according to the students’ perceptions graphed on page 15 Playworks shows little or no significant impacts.

    By the way, who pays for the playground coaches?

    Comment by Jack Richard — November 13, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

  18. Jack, sorry about the failure to use quotation marks. Post was done hastily.

    Comment by Kate Quick — November 13, 2013 @ 8:38 pm

  19. Having talked to children at the school they don’t see a difference between AUSD “PE” and “Playworks.” Or even “Playworks” and “Recess.” To the kids play is play. Sure they know the difference between Coach Kenny and Ms. Ratto (PE teacher) but ask them the difference between the funding mechanisms between the two and whether one affects their enjoyment of play time more and you’re getting into territory that is probably confusing for most adults, let alone the children.

    The teachers are absolutely the ones who see the impacts of Playworks in addition to whatever scheduled recreation time so to dismiss it as “what teacher doesn’t want to be relieved of playground supervision” is cynical. Perhaps a few volunteer hours at Ruby Bridges would help crystalize the difference?

    As mentioned in the NPR piece, Playworks is a non profit. A quick look on their website would show they are grant funded — the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is also a funder which is why that the report quoted exists — in addition to the school ponying up some money. In Ruby Bridges’ case it’s $30K which is used from Title I money. Title I money is money that is given to school that have a certain population of low income families.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 14, 2013 @ 5:55 am

  20. Bullying goes on in the cafeteria, the restrooms, the classroom, on field trips, and on the way to and from school, as well as on the playground and most especially in gym (dodge ball, anyone?) I speak from personal experience. I can’t say it didn’t have “educational” value though. How else are we to grow up and be able to defend ourselves on blog posts? 😉

    Comment by Denise Shelton — November 14, 2013 @ 9:14 am

  21. Quit blogging.

    Comment by Jack Richard — November 14, 2013 @ 9:42 am

  22. 19
    Okay, now you’ve thrown another factor into the equation, Ms. Ratto (PE teacher). I didn’t see her mentioned in your post. Does she function as the play yard supervisor and in charge of Coach Kenny or is she strictly the PE class teacher?

    Also, teacher Savin says the Point has no safe place for kids to recreate, does Mr. Biggs know this or agree with it, Isn’t the new kids club right around the corner from RB and the Point?

    Comment by Jack Richard — November 14, 2013 @ 12:25 pm

  23. I don’t know the hierarchy of who is in charge of who, Playworks is its own separate program from AUSD’s PE so I imagine that they work together as opposed to someone being “in charge” of someone else. Playworks also runs an after school program as well in the case that you’re worried about the cost effectiveness of a program bringing more play into an elementary school.

    I believe Mr. Savin said “some neighborhoods” and not “Alameda Point.” He also said that some parents might not value outdoor play when kids get home either so it’s not necessarily an issue of safety but of priorities. Personally given the demands of homework and extra curricular activities, I have found it hard to make time for my kids to just play outside as well. It’s not necessarily an “Alameda Point” thing or whether or not the Boys and Girls Club exists. When parents are working full time jobs and it gets dark at 5:30 p.m. by the time they can pick their kids up from after care, even if they wanted to allow kids to play outside, it definitely is a challenge.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 14, 2013 @ 12:54 pm

  24. #22 I heard Jack calling my name. The quote from the story actually was: “Barry Savin, who teaches fourth and fifth grade here, says some of the kids don’t have a safe and secure place to play outside back in their neighborhoods. And some parents might not emphasize outdoor play time after school, he adds.”

    APC has two playgrounds that we built, one on Midway and one on Orion and a basketball court. All three get heavy use. Both playgrounds are long in the tooth now (9 years old) and in need of some rehab. I was just over at the Orion one looking at making some improvements. The playground on Midway also fronts on a large playing field suitable for football, etc. Despite having those areas, kids seem to gravitate to playing in the streets, or just wandering through the neighborhood. We have a total of 20 acres of open space at APC, and play for a lot of our kids is similar to those Family Circus comics of the child taking a circuitous route between home and the park.

    I think the larger issue is the lack of attentions parents give to outdoor play. We have a few that take the kids out to the playground, or even go for bike rides, but that isn’t the norm. One of the things I see playworks doing though is encouraging more kids to get out and encourage their families to get out with them.

    Oh and remind me never to challenge Jack to a game of Roshambo.

    Comment by Doug Biggs — November 14, 2013 @ 3:57 pm

  25. Barry Savin’s quote as written in the NPR piece, to me, is what’s troubling with the NPR write up. They string generalizations together then conflate half truths with ill defined quotes . The title of the group of paragraphs which includes Barry Savin’s quote is “Helping To Close A Recess Gap”. Well, Barry works in a school that doesn’t have a ‘recess gap’ but some schools do have a gap and NPR says these schools are in low-income neighborhoods and that Alameda Point is on the big five list of poorest.

    So Barry Savin teaches in a low income school, the Point is in the top five Bay Area poorest, Barry says some (NPR imply’s that this ‘some’ is Point’s ‘some’ kids) kids don’t have safe secure play spaces, groups say concentrated poverty (Point) shortens recess time, and it’s all a sad testament one teacher says (from RB?) to how schools and neighborhoods have de-emphasized play. Boggles my mind.

    Comment by Jack Richard — November 14, 2013 @ 5:58 pm

  26. BTW, none of what I write is meant to denigrate West Alameda’s schools, fine giving citizens or anything other than NPR’s implied character dissing of Alameda and West Alameda in particular.

    Comment by Jack Richard — November 14, 2013 @ 7:33 pm

  27. What a load of steaming horse shit put out as usual by our favorite Communist, Doug Biggs. So homeless kids first get to attend a brand new elementary school in Bayport (while their baby mamas an absent baby daddies pay zero taxes and suck up public resources, but since their academic performance is poor, we give them more play time. Then Doug goes on to say that 9 year old playgrounds at Alameda Point Collaborative are old? Bullshit! Most private citizens are using things far older than that. Perhaps the reason everything at APC degrades so quickly is cause the people there pay zero dollars toward them and get repairs and replacement for free, courtesy of Uncle Sam!

    Comment by Ashkenazi — November 14, 2013 @ 8:07 pm

  28. I condemn the recent spate of hateful comments coming from the “author” of 27. I especially condemn the use of a word associated with the 6 million slaughtered during the Holocaust as a moniker to hang on such appalling opinions. Could it be that this is merely a spelling error, and this person meant to identify as “Ash Can Nazi”? In either case, it’s inappropriate, insensitive, and objectionable. Please stop.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — November 15, 2013 @ 9:21 am

  29. Ashkenazi Jews, also known as Ashkenazic Jews or simply Ashkenazim, are a Jewish ethnic division who trace their origins to the Israelite tribes of the Middle East …

    Comment by Jack Richard — November 15, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

  30. #27. Sorry, I stopped reading at favorite!

    And Jack, I also had a hard time with NPR’s article segueing from stats about APC to a general quote about “some of them”, however I do believe that engaging kids in structured productive play is important to their overall well being, and I thank RB for taking this project on.

    Comment by Doug Biggs — November 15, 2013 @ 12:33 pm

  31. 29. Not sure what you meant by this, Jack. Maybe you just misunderstood me. This is on Wikipedia: ” at their peak in 1931, Ashkenazi Jews accounted for 92 percent of the world’s Jews. With 16.7 million Jews prior to World War II,[20] the number was reduced dramatically as 6 million Ashkenazi Jews were killed in The Holocaust.[21][22][23]”
    My point was that using the name “Ashkenazi” to spew racially charged garbage about anyone is beyond disgusting and might be interpreted by those who do not know to think that these thoughts are typical of the Ashkenazi people which is absolutely WRONG.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — November 15, 2013 @ 2:26 pm

  32. I have no dog in the fight……..But You might need to lighten up Denise.

    Whats in a Name

    Comment by Whats in a Name — November 15, 2013 @ 3:07 pm

  33. 27, 32: Whatever he or she) calls her/himself, Ashkenazi’s comments are uncalled for, incorrect, and beyond rude. (I thought Jack was being rude–until I read #27. Jack, you are a saint in comparison. 🙂

    Besides, Ashkenazi is giving horse manure a bad name. (Unlike the evil comments in #27, horse manure makes great compost, so it at least has some shred of redeeming social value…)

    Comment by Jon Spangler — November 15, 2013 @ 3:34 pm

  34. It’s Ruby Bridges Day, the anniversary of her historic walk.

    Comment by MI — November 15, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

  35. oops, yesterday was 14th, which is even more apropos considering comment 17. I was just reading how a white woman stood outside the school with a black doll in a coffin. A vicious bigot, but she had more than “keyboard courage” displayed here.

    Comment by MI — November 15, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

  36. 33 .

    My 32 comment and video was trying to lighten up the conversation after reading all the horse manure. I have no clue who 27 is .

    What you consider redeeming social value in most instances I don’t agree with……But in this case you might be right.

    Comment by Whats in a Name — November 15, 2013 @ 4:37 pm

  37. We have cut all the Park and Rec budgets to the bone…..We went years deferring all the maintinance to all our Parks , Pools, and Golf Course and keep adding more fees for any programs. Most of the attention and money has gone to West End and The Boy’s and Girls Club.

    So 27 was right about one thing…….How he made is point was pretty ugly.

    Comment by Whats in a Name — November 15, 2013 @ 4:50 pm

  38. 31
    No, I do not understand at least the tail end of your 28. If someone wants to post a comment under a religiously tied moniker, so what? Maybe this person is an Ashkenazi Jew. As far as the comment being ‘racially charged’, I don’t see it.

    Doug, I’m not so sure I agree that recess play should be structured. Kids are in a structured arena enough during class time and recess provides freedom from that environment. Freedom to interact on their own in an area that’s safe and has a varied population that many kids never experience meeting in their own neighborhood. It’s socially common in primate groups that playtime is left to the young to exhibit their robustness and learn from it without having adults nosing in all the time.

    Comment by Jack Richard — November 15, 2013 @ 5:57 pm

  39. By the way, I expect a picket line around RB Monday if Playworks coach Kenny Wong is not a member of a union approved by Gray Harris.

    Comment by Jack Richard (in solidarity) — November 16, 2013 @ 7:05 pm

  40. Watch your Back Jack.

    Game of the Week: Watch Your Back Tag

    How to play this fun game of tag in which everyone is it!

    November 11, 2013

    The Game of the Month is Tag!

    So this month, we’re sharing difference versions of this fun playground game.

    Here’s a fun game allows every player to be it. The Game of the Week is Watch Your Back!

    Group Size: 10 or more
    Age Group: Grades 1+
    Length of Activity: 10 or more minutes
    Developmental Goal: To develop memorization skills.
    Equipment: None
    Before You Start:

    Demonstrate safe tagging:

    Light touch, like a butterfly wings, on the shoulder
    Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall
    Review the boundaries and the consequence for going outside them, such as must get on one knee and assume the person who was just chasing tagged you
    Set Up:

    Designate a large play area with clear boundaries

    How to Play:

    The object of the game is to tag as many people as you can without getting tagged yourself
    If you do get tagged you take a mental picture of who tagged you and then drop one knee and freeze.
    When the individual who tagged you gets tagged you can get up and start tagging again.
    Players must be honest if you get tagged to stop and take a knee.
    Mid-Point Questions:

    Are people remembering who tagged them?

    You can make the play area smaller to make it more difficult.
    You can make the players skip, hop, act like their favorite animal while tagging and evading.

    Find more new and exciting games in our games library!

    – See more at:

    We Celebrate Tag while Elementary school students in Finland could be adding coding and programming to their nightly homework routine in the near future.

    Finland Eyes Programming Classes for Elementary School Students

    “We have a strong education system and rank among the top countries in both primary and secondary education, and we’re always looking for new ways to innovate,” Stubb says. “Bringing coding to students is something we are very aware of, but it would probably take awhile to get it up and running.”

    Estonia rolled out a similar program for elementary school students in 2012, with 20 schools across the country testing a program called ProgeTiiger. The software teaches everything from basic logic to Java and C++ for older students.

    Finland is emerging as one of the hottest new startup hubs in the world, especially when it comes to mobile gaming. Thanks to the success of Rovio and its Angry Birds empire, as well as newcomer Supercell — which has two of the most popular iOS games: Clash of Clans and Hay Day — Finland has attracted tech talent from all over Europe looking to set up shop in its capital city.

    Comment by Solid as Jello — November 17, 2013 @ 3:07 pm

  41. Shouldn’t those poor low income kids study more, not less? Ruby Bridges API test scores are pretty pathetic.

    Comment by Soft as Bosom — November 17, 2013 @ 10:04 pm

  42. 38. I was referring not just to the post on this string but to the series of posts this person has been making on various issues. I think using terms like “baby mama” is a pretty clear indication of who these comments are aimed at. I stand by my assessment that these comments are racially charged. In any case, this is one troll who should stay under the bridge. As for lightening up, it’s not usually a problem for me, but sometimes you have to call people on it when they cross the line. Silence can be interpreted as acceptance and some things are unacceptable.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — November 18, 2013 @ 9:26 am

  43. All Things Considered and placed in their historical context, Playworks does work.

    Remember, NPR is not only beamed by the benevolent feds at Alameda it’s beamed at all the other liberal/progressive yokels who listen religiously across this sprawling land. A land filled with those who have never even heard of Alameda (as a strong liberal I used to listen to Prairie Home Companion on NPR) and who shake their collective heads thanking their good lord big government that they don’t live in Alameda.

    Nowhere in the NPR piece does the fact that RB is in the middle of a yuppie high income enclave reveal itself. No, RB is in one of five poorest communities in the Bay Area. Way to go yuppies, tell the world your walled off haven is comparable to East Palo Alto or East Oakland…which BTW, NPR made that fact clear with their description of Alameda as a ‘small’ (small? but in fact is the largest island in the bay) island near Oakland…’island near Oakland’, visions of Rikers Island in Queens or that other island in the Bay, Alcatraz enforces the NPR vision of Alameda as a social prison and an adjunct to a failed city filled with immigrants from…

    So, Playworks is a protection agency paid for by the benevolent feds (who pay for all things considered) and Playworks works because little yuppie kids who live in the big house must be protected from plantation urchins who may, god forbid, assault them in the restroom. Too bad Playworks is only available in schools with a high percentage of kids who get free lunches which includes, if one looks at the Playworks map, an abundance of schools in Oakland within a couple miles of the 880 freeway and, of course, one little pinprick in Alameda, RB, but give it time soon it may be protecting in a school near you.

    Comment by Jack Richard — November 18, 2013 @ 10:15 am

  44. Way to turn a feel good story about bringing added recess into schools into a negative.

    As the report said all schools are cutting back on recess time in order to provide more instruction time, probably because there is such a need to perform on standardized tests to prove to parents and the community that the school is “good” regardless of actual instruction or school culture.

    While Ruby Bridges is in the center of Bayport, the demographics of the school itself mirrors the community that surrounds Bayport, you know, the entire attendance zone it serves and not the actual neighborhood it exists in.

    Playworks is, as I mentioned, largely grant funded — meaning not fed funded — the money that the school uses are federal dollars, but they could have used state money too as a matching fund.

    And, I really hope that you did not intend to minimize the assault at Ruby Bridges in such a flippant manner. The attack was an unfortunate tragedy and your characterization is completely unwarranted and pretty shitty to boot.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 18, 2013 @ 10:38 am

  45. And about coding for elementary schools students. First, it’s for older students. Second, anyone saying that Alameda students need more homework need to sit down with a seven year old and a homework packet and help them with their homework. Then try to fit in some play time for them. Oh and one scheduled activity too. Don’t forget about dinner and bath time. And try to get them to bed before 9:00 p.m. Then we’ll talk about adding yet another layer of “stuff kids these days should be doing because someone thinks that learning to code in Java is a good idea.” Which was probably as good as an idea as kids learning how to code in Basic in 1995 only to realize that programming languages evolve.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 18, 2013 @ 10:47 am

  46. If all schools are cutting back on recess time, why are just the poor ones getting Playworks? There’s nothing good in the ‘feel good’ story. Playworks is just one more example of an attempt to fix a failure in a long drawn out series of liberal/progressive failures which are designed to further control the populous.

    Comment by Jack Richard — November 18, 2013 @ 12:26 pm

  47. Because wealthier schools can afford to fund-raise more money for extra goodies. One example: PTA fundraising. Lower income schools raise a whole lot less money from its families than wealthy ones do. Second example: parental volunteers. Higher income schools have a lot higher volunteer rates meaning that programs like Playworks can be done through a volunteer basis using parents.

    Even in Alameda the disparity between these two things from one school to another is pretty staggering. And we’re just a “small” island.

    Playworks works for schools like Ruby Bridges, before you continue to pooh pooh it perhaps you should attempt to see it in action instead of assuming that it’s some touchy feely liberal/progressive crap.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 18, 2013 @ 12:39 pm

  48. I’m not pooh poohing Playworks nor do I think it’s L/P crap. And it’s no doubt working fine and just as it was designed to work at RB (protection). What I’m saying it’s merely one more of the numerous band-aid results for the fundamental failures of L/P crap. Crap that has bought off and made dependent whole sections of the populace in order that the L/P ruling class, be it Republican or Democrat, remain in power.

    “Even those who support Playworks lament the fact that the program has to exist at all”, NPR (Pravda) says. Yeah, right!

    Comment by Jack Richard — November 18, 2013 @ 2:24 pm

  49. The Big Question is ” Why” are we even having this discussion.

    If we Focused on taking care of all the Student needs first on giving them a better school experience and Education we would not be having this discussion.

    “Because wealthier schools can afford to fund-raise more money for extra goodies. ”

    Why is this even in the Equation.

    The Money raised by individual Schools are not even ONE Percent of the money in the School Budget.

    So we Cut out all the Things Students really need ……Why………

    We seem to Focus on Administrators, Teachers and Staff needs Getting Raises while the money directly spent on Kids Directly continues to shrink to Nothing.

    Is this the Why ?

    Comment by " Why" are we even having this discussion. — November 18, 2013 @ 5:41 pm

  50. I’m not sure why you keep insisting that Playworks is for “protection.” It’s a ridiculous statement and referencing your initial comment where “protection” first arose, used in conjunction to minimize the Ruby Bridges assault as “big house kids” needing to be protected from “plantation urchins.” All kids, yes even “big house” ones, need to learn how to resolve conflicts and how to play well with others. During our neighborhood play sessions, parents often have to step in to resolve conflicts or point out that throwing balls at someone’s head is not okay.

    Playworks was not brought in post-RB assault if that is what you are thinking, it was there long before and hopefully will continue long after. In addition to having Playworks as a tool to help make kids active and learn how to resolve conflicts there’s also the RB Peacemaker program and varying other tools. But I’m sure you will just chalk up that sort of conflict resolution — led and conducted by students — as just another way for “big house” kids to be protected from “plantation urchins.”

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 19, 2013 @ 7:28 am

  51. Control IS protection and Playworks is all about controlling the playground. Why else is Kenny Wong there? The kids see no difference in their recess enjoyment (according to the research I cited above) between him being there or him not being there. I suspect low income schools have reduced recess time because of schoolyard violence not because they think more class time will improve test scores or because the teachers claim the kids are so much more ready to study hard after a Playworks session recess.

    As far as Peacemakers go, I’ll take this one…

    Comment by Jack Richard — November 19, 2013 @ 9:45 am

  52. By the way that picture was taken over SF Bay and that B36 landed at NAS. I met one of the crew-members when I was in the Navy at NAS Alameda (he had switched from Air Force to Navy) and he related an interesting story about that B-36 landing at the NAS. It was the first (and only I think) B-36 that landed at Alameda and the tower flight controllers were not familiar with the aircraft. When the co-pilot radioed the tower for landing permission he mentioned they had four engines shut down. The Tower operator was startled and asked if they were declaring an emergency. Naw, says the co-pilot we got six more turnin.

    Comment by Jack Richard — November 19, 2013 @ 10:04 am

  53. I don’t believe the goal of Playworks is “recess enjoyment.” Given that all aspects of school has some level of supervision, trying to relate supervision as control and control as your definition of “protection” is really reaching.

    You “suspect” that that low income schools have less recess because of schoolyard violence and so you, who have probably never stepped foot into a school since who knows when, want to project your suspicions and cynicism on to a program and schools that you know little to nothing about. Because you, not the teachers who see these kids day in and day out, have a better grasp on what strategies are working within their school and with their students. Got it.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 19, 2013 @ 10:23 am

  54. Once you move into the ad hominem I move out.

    Comment by Jack Richard — November 19, 2013 @ 10:41 am

  55. 54.Once you move into the ad hominem I move out.

    Translation: I just realized what an asshole I look like in this thread so I better leave now, thanks for the excuse.

    Comment by dave — November 19, 2013 @ 11:35 am

  56. “RB Peacemaker”? Most persons over a certain age will assume that refers to a weapon. Is that some kind of new drone? And I don’t mean a Bee.

    Comment by vigi — November 19, 2013 @ 11:38 am

  57. Shocking New Game “Knock-out” Being Played “For Fun” in New Jersey

    Comment by Shocking New Game “Knock-out” Being Played “For Fun” in New Jersey — November 19, 2013 @ 6:43 pm

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