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Two national youth development organizations are partnering to launch a new youth development program in Anchorage and Kansas City.

Rarely do you see nonprofit organizations open their playbooks to offer resources and best practices as they work toward a similar goal. That’s exactly what Playworks and Camp Fire have done with the launch of Playworks TagTeam, a new youth development program that harnesses the power of play to benefit students and educators. 

TagTeam builds alignment between a school and their out-of-school-time provider by bringing the same language, frameworks, and approach to both. This benefits students in that they do not have to juggle expectations during activities in and after school. 

Playworks and Camp Fire are launching TagTeam in partnership with Camp Fire Alaska in Anchorage, AK, and with Camp Fire Heartland, in Kansas City, MO, serving more than 10,000 youth. The program and partnership plan to expand both nationally and locally over the coming year.

Through TagTeam, Playworks, a national nonprofit based in Oakland, CA, leveraging the power of play to transform children’s physical and emotional well-being, shares the organization’s evidence-based recess strategies that have been cultivated over 25 years to ensure more kids can experience safe and healthy play: play where kids are safe, empowered, and engaged. 

“Partnering with Camp Fire to introduce consistent, caring adults to lead a recess program in their local communities helps both organizations meet our common goal of impacting more kids with safe and healthy play every day,” says Elizabeth Cushing, CEO of Playworks. 

Camp Fire is an inclusive national youth development organization that connects young people to the outdoors, to others, and to themselves. Their innovative programs across 24 states help youth develop with the life skills they need to thrive. Many of these skills, such as confidence, collaboration, teamwork, and conflict resolution, are developed through play. With training and support from Playworks, expanding their service model to include in-school recess has been a natural fit.

“Recess is an important place for young people to build connections,” says Shawna Rosenzweig, President at Camp Fire. “That’s why we’re excited to collaborate with a peer organization to intentionally create a stronger ecosystem of support for both youth and educators.” 

TagTeam was initially launched as a pilot in 2019 in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Carson and has since built partnerships with other Boys & Girls Clubs, Communities in Schools and City Year. Playworks has been running its TagTeam program with success ever since. Youth development professionals from other partner organizations participate in a year-long certification program that builds capacity for out-of-school-time partners to launch a recess service at schools in their community. The results speak for themselves: 95 percent of educators in existing TagTeam schools report that during recess TagTeam increases the number of students engaged in healthy play with their peers.

For more information about TagTeam, visit: https://www.playworks.org/services/tagteam/


About Playworks 

Playworks is the leading national nonprofit leveraging the power of play to transform children’s physical and emotional well-being. The organization aims to bring out the best in every kid and hopes that one day, every child in America will get to play every day. For over 25 years, Playworks has improved kids’ experience at school and enhanced school culture by creating a caring and welcoming environment for every kid to thrive. The organization brings out the best in every kid-and adult- through moments of joy, connection, skill development, and physical activity. Through direct-service coaching of youth and providing training and consultation for adults working with kids, Playworks partners with elementary schools, districts, and community-based organizations to bring games and youth development practices. With an emphasis on social, physical, and emotional skill-building, students feel included while being active and developing valuable skills needed to thrive in and out of the classroom. During the 2023–2024 school year, the nonprofit is ensuring more than 600,000 youth in over 1,300 schools and community partners experience safe and healthy play during and beyond the school day nationwide. For more information, visit: www.playworks.org

About Camp Fire

Growing up is hard. That’s why Camp Fire connects young people to the outdoors, to others, and to themselves. Founded in 1910, Camp Fire was the first nonsectarian, multiracial organization for girls but today is an inclusive national youth development nonprofit that serves all young people. By creating safe spaces where young people can have fun and be themselves, its 46 affiliates in 24 states provide affirming, year-round, youth-driven experiences—school day programs, afterschool programs, leadership programs, and camps and outdoor education—that enable youth to develop essential skills that have long-term benefits and make a positive social impact on the world.


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