Profit isn’t Playworks’ goal, rep says

By From page A3 | May 24, 2014

FAIRFIELD — The nonprofit proposed to work with the Travis School District on recess programs aims to enhance the community and the power of play, a representative says.

School district staff pulled the proposal and Hector Salazar, an account manager for Oakland-based Playworks, said while the matter has concluded, the community should know the nonprofit’s approach.

“It has to be a good fit,” he said of Playworks. “I’m not going to force it on anybody.”

Attention to a $2,000-a-day fee for a follow-up consultation, part of the proposed $47,900 pact, could have overshadowed the value of the recess program, Salazar said.

“It really hurt to see us painted in a way as being after the money,” he said.

“We are all about bringing out the best in each kid through the power of play,” Salazar said. “We make it so the kids enjoy coming to school.”

He said he often hears that children inherently understand play. But if you go to a school, a few children often dominate recess games and leave no opportunity for others, the Playworks representative said.

Programs make it possible for all youths to participate by promoting games that include crazy kickball that are skill-neutral, he said.

Salazar said he’s seen children giving each other high fives after Playworks introduces new ways to play that involve all youths.

“This is where the kids learn how to be decent human beings,” he said of playgrounds.

While the nonprofit doesn’t promote the program as a specific anti-bullying or anti-obesity effort, those are side benefits, he said.

“Make that time an ally, rather than an enemy,” Salazar said of recess.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


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