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Bringing play back to the playground


Jeremiah Curtin Leadership Academy is a traditional K-8 Milwaukee Public School, located near 32nd and Morgan on Milwaukee's southwest side. They are a " School of Distinction" recognized by the state for their positive school climate. They've implemented innovative programs like " Act Now", an anti-bullying program and held an "Investigations Fair", highlighting their work with connecting reading and writing standards with science, math or social studies topics.


So when they partnered with the nonprofit organization Playworks, even recess became more engaging and fun. "This program adds to the culture of learning that we have at Curtin," says Theresa Morateck, school support teacher at Jeremiah Curtin. "We have teachers building relationships with the students on the playground, which is so important." How does that work? The concept is pretty simple...and fun.


Playworks organizes playtime at recess, engaging kids using fun games like four square, jump ropes, hula hoops and organized tag.  "Traditional schools focus on education in the classroom," says Laurie Holla from Playworks. "We bring in emotional learning, let the students be themselves and have a lot of fun outside the classroom." Laurie says, organized play at recess helps decrease bullying, which directly affects the kids once they get back into class. Coach Laurie leads a group of 17 student coaches, made up of kids from the older grades. Click the story above to hear more from Gabby and Anna, two 11-year old student coaches that say they've learned a lot from Coach Laurie and consider her family.


Jeremiah Curtin Leadership Academy is expanding, now holding open enrollment for K4. Learn more about Curtin here. Playworks is a nation-wide program serving kids in over 20 states, with Playworks Wisconsin in 14 Milwaukee Public Schools and hoping to expand to even more in the 2015-16 school year.

Director of Digital Content | Radio Milwaukee