Jill Vialet

Ashoka Fellow
Oakland, United States
Fellow Since 2004
My work: providing healthy, inclusive recess and play to low-income schools across the country.


This profile was prepared when Jill Vialet was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004.
The New Idea
Jill founded Sports4Kids as a comprehensive program to create safe and inclusive environments for play and physical activity both within and beyond the school day. Through Sports4Kids, she collaborates with school staff to orchestrate lunchtime and recess activities and to reintroduce physical education into the classroom. She develops and coordinates after school programs that include homework help, healthy snacks, and organized sports and games. Finally, Sports4Kids runs inclusive interscholastic sports leagues and uses sports to increase family and community involvement in schools.

Sports4Kids helps schools break free of the false tension between physical health and academic achievement; its programs drive significant progress in both areas. The program benefits all populations in the school: students come to classes with more energy and excitement; administrators cut down on discipline problems; and teachers learn how to meet state-mandated standards for physical education while having fun with their students. It is little surprise, then, that principals and teachers cite Sports4Kids as one of the most indispensable programs in their schools. Jill uses their enthusiasm to spur her program’s expansion to cities across the country.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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