JP Kids: Run for Recess raises money and fun

On Saturday, May 19, students and staff members from four Jamaica Plain Schools will participate in the 9th Annual Playworks Run for Recess 5K. Funds raised through the family friendly 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run, which will take place along Franklin Park’s cross country course, will support play and physical activity in 140 elementary schools across New England.

The Boston Teachers Union School, Manning School, Match School and Curley School all partner with Playworks New England to help kids to stay active and teach valuable social-emotional skills through play. A full-time Playworks staff member is placed onsite year-round to run all Playworks programming during and after-school. The Playworks Coach at each of the Jamaica Plain schools helps to create a play environment where every child can join in.

“Playtime is kids’ time, but schools can and should help kids be their best,” said Jonathan Gay, Playworks executive director. “The students benefit physically, socially and emotionally. Kids get the chance to play more, learn how to resolve their conflicts, take on leadership roles and have fun.”

At the Run for Recess, students and families representing 49 elementary schools in the Greater Boston area will run with the collective goal of raising $15,000 for Playworks New England.

Gay reflected on the history of the event.

“The 5K began as an effort to introduce Playworks students from one school to Playworks students from other schools,” Gay said. “Kids were also participating in running clubs at recess and the 5K served as an opportunity to set a goal. Over the past nine years, Playworks and participating schools have raised nearly $100,000. The great thing about the event is that Playworks partner schools, like the Manning, Curley, Match and Union, can raise money on behalf of their individual schools at the event.”

The New Balance Foundation is also contributing to this cause. The Foundation provides funding that subsidizes the cost of the program at each school and provides scholarships for children to participate in the Run for Recess 5K event.  New Balance employees volunteer their time to coach kids during recess alongside Playworks Coaches and lead playground beautification projects in Playworks communities.

Gay says that the event is unique because there are hundreds of students running alongside professional runners from across the state. Participants can choose from one of two running routes along the Franklin Park Playstead Field.  All runners will get a Playworks goodie bag. The first 400 runners registered will receive a free Playworks t-shirt. An award presentation for the top three finishers will take place at the conclusion of the race. All participants will receive certificates.

“We hope to have 1,000 people attend this year’s Run for Recess 5K, running, volunteering and cheering,” Gay said. “We are so excited!”

Registration and start times are as follows:

Pre-Registration and Registration opens at 8:30 a.m.

One Mile Fun Run beings at 10 a.m.

5K Run for Recess begins at 10:30 a.m.

Recess 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Registration fees range from $10 to $50, dependent upon route and group packages. All fees increase by $5 for onsite at Franklin Park. To register for the 9th Annual Playworks Run for Recess 5K on May 19, to support a school team, or to volunteer, visit: For more questions, contact Karleen Herbst, Playworks New England Development Manager, at [email protected] or call 617-708-1734.

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