One of the more challenging parts of summer in Minnesota is spending beautiful summer days cooped up in an air conditioned office. Last Friday was one of those beautiful days where, typically, I’d look longingly outside my office window at the sunshine and people walking by enjoying the weather and wish that I was outside with them.
But, instead, a group of Sunrise employees were fortunate enough to get outside and enjoy the 80 degree, sunny day. Like many kids out for summer, we spent the day playing! We participated in a kickball tournament to raise funds for a nonprofit organization, Playworks Minnesota.
Playing kickball to raise funds for Playworks was very fitting. Playworks has a vision that one day, every child in America will get to play – everyday. The nonprofit places “coaches” full-time in participating schools to ensure that schools are a safe and welcoming place for kids to play, thrive, and contribute.
This year, Playworks Minnesota is serving 7,000 students in 15 low-income schools in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Positive experiences on the playground continue back into the classroom and back into local communities. Schools participating in the program report a number of positive results, such as a decrease in the number of disciplinary referrals, increase in cooperation, and less bullying and exclusionary behavior.
Results like that are great for students, but I have to imagine the results of fun, inclusive activities are great for adults in the workplace too. While our Sunrise teams didn’t take home the trophy and many of us were sore over the weekend, it was rewarding and refreshing to spend the day outside just having fun with coworkers. I don’t think anyone in the tournament would have traded it back for a day in the office. For me, this was also great reminder to get out and play, even when life gets busy.