Newark Principal Wins Most Valuable Principal Award from Playworks

[NEW YORK, NY – June 20, 2018] – Last night Playworks honored Speedway Academies principal Atiba Buckman for her leadership and commitment to creating a healthy and engaging playing environment for her students at Speedway.   More than 200 philanthropists, educators, students, families, Playworks coaches and community members gathered to honor and celebrate the best of what Playworks has to offer. Playworks works with local community schools to provide services to ensure that students have access to daily structured, healthy play. PlayWorks services 11 schools in Newark and over 1,000,000 students across the country.

For her work at creating a safe and nurturing environment for student play at Speedway Academies, Principal Atiba Buckman was honored as this year’s “Most Valuable Principal.” Describing Principal Buckman, PlayWorks NY/NJ Board President Laura James stated that Principal Buckman has made Speedway Academies into a beacon for the community. Principal Buckman said, “This award is a testament to the positive impact of inclusive practices and engaging play on students’ lives. I am so proud of the Speedway Academies and PlayWorks teams for all that they have done for students.”

In addition to honoring Principal Buckman, Spencer Miller Community School’s Tony Vasquez-Tipanta (Grade 5) received the PlayWorks Junior Coach Leadership Award, along with students from the Bronx and Brooklyn.

Playworks brings out the best in kids, through play

Playtime is kids’ time. But schools can and should create play environments that help kids be their best. Studies show that recess matters: a thoughtful approach to recess improves children’s physical health and social and emotional learning. Playworks helps schools and districts make the most of recess through on-site staffing, consultative support, professional development, free resources, and more. We also support youth programs and other organizations that wish to improve playtime. Organizations like SHAPE America, The Centers for Disease Control, and City Year all look to Playworks to inform practice and policy.

Helping Schools Rethink Recess

For over 20 years, Playworks has helped schools figure out what works well on their playgrounds.  For recess to reinforce school culture, we’ve learned that a holistic approach is needed.  According to their website the schools are:

  • Belmont Runyon Elementary School
  • Hawkins Street School
  • Louise A. Spencer School
  • Oliver Street School
  • Philips Academy Charter School
  • Quitman Street Community School
  • Rafael Hernandez School
  • Roseville Community Charter School
  • South Street School