Helping make sustainable change in early childhood development in Lane County was the goal of this Service Grant project. In partnership with Head Start of Lane County, Selam Wako implemented Recess Time from Playworks—a program that would make an impact beyond its completion. Through this project, five local early childhood educators were trained and supported in facilitating Recess Time, which helps children build their social and interpersonal skills by engaging them in structured and unstructured intentional play. The Service Grant also covered equipment needed to implement and sustain the designed activities.

Selam worked with teachers and volunteers to implement activities and games that helped children engage with each other and build their social development. This project positively impacted approximately 25 children, who are now equipped with the skills and tools needed for healthy development and happy futures. Most importantly, the project has potential for impacting many more children. By training the teachers in how to implement Recess Time, the program is able to be sustained in the future, as they can now train future volunteers to implement the program. This program will be presented to the incoming cohort of volunteers each year by Head Start staff.

The program not only positively impacted the children, but the volunteers and staff as well, who gained a sense of fulfillment having created positive and sustaining change in the lives of children.