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A playground program is teaching kids to get along

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Canyons District is using play as a force for learning. The District has implemented a nationally recognized program called Playworks at all 29 of its elementary schools. The program not only encourages physical fitness but aims to improve the social skills of students. For example, a game of four-square can teach kids the social and behavioral skills needed to follow rules, set goals, learn from failure, manage tough emotions, and resolve a conflict. An impromptu game of 'Ro-sham-bo,' or rock-paper-scissors, can stop a playground argument from escalating to the point of requiring a teacher or the principal to intervene. At one school, the administrators credit Playworks` influence for an 80 percent drop in office discipline referrals from 2014 to 2016.