(Oakland, CA) -- A program designed to encourage positive play among kids could help cut down on bullying in Pennsylvania and improve students' focus throughout the day. The nonprofit Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Playworks have conducted a study showing structured play during recess can help foster leadership, teamwork, and empathy. Playworks CEO Jill Vialet says the program's already being used in several low-income school districts in Philadelphia. She says while many students look forward to recess, some may not. "Recess is this time of the day, that it can be negative and detrimental," she says. "But with just a little effort, it can be this really extraordinary, contributing, positive, wonderful part of the school day that really makes kids love school and want to be there." Through the program, a coach leads structured activities during recess to help improve student interaction. Playworks provides workshops for people to learn how to implement the program in their schools.
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