Play is Important at Fairmont!

Most of us would agree that children need to train their bodies as well as their minds. Sometimes the little ones have so much energy that it’s hard for them to focus on schoolwork, so a little physical activity can be beneficial. Plus, with concerns about obesity on the rise, it’s important to encourage our kids to be active.

However, budget cuts and a lack of funding have meant that elementary school children on average get only 100 minutes of physical education per week. Sure, they have recess and lunch time, but these are unstructured recreation times which don’t provide the benefits of constructive coaching.

This is where Playworks comes in. It is a national non-profit organization that "supports learning byproviding safe, healthy and inclusive play and physical activity to schools at recess and throughout the entire school day. "

(Read more about Playworks at

(Watch a video on school recess

At Fairmont, a trained coach facilitates and supervises games and activities that teach our children basic athletic skills & fair play.

The games also build skills needed in class, such as listening and focusing. They also emphasize group awareness and teamwork.

Each classroom receives sports instructions on an ongoing basis.

On top of that, the coach trains upper grade students as junior coaches to assist her on the yard during recess. These junior coaches must stay out of trouble and keep their grades up. The experience enhances the kids’ abilities to lead and resolve conflicts, giving them a feeling of responsibility and empowerment.

Another benefit of Playworks is the after school program for 25 kids from grades 4-6 with a homework center, healthy snack and structured activities.

One of PTA’s primary goals this year is to raise adequate funds to ensure that the Playworks program can continue in Fairmont. According to preliminary estimates, the PTA needs to raise about $23,500 every year to fund Playworks. So far it’s been going on for six years and we want to make sure it lasts.

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Contact Info

Fairmont Elementary School - 724 Kearney St., El Cerrito, CA 94530 - Phone: 510.231.1448