PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- One program in Arizona believes stopping bullying at school might start at recess.
Playworks Arizona believes teaching kids valuable problem-solving skills and inclusiveness on the playground could translate in to better interactions overall.
Carson Dodge, a fifth grader at Paidea Academy, wants to make sure recess is fun for his classmates, the way recess should be,
"I don't like to see bullying on the playground," said Dodge, who is also a Junior Coach for Playworks Arizona. "I can help prevent that."
Playworks Arizona's goal is to reduce and get rid of bullying at school, and instead help kids resolve problems and learn leadership skills.
"If there's arguments on the playground, to prevent it from turning in to bullying, so there's no fights on the playground," said Dodge.
Dr. Brian Winsor is the South Phoenix school's principal. He says his playground was a different place when the school opened in 2012.
"When we first opened up in 2012, the kids weren't used to our model," said Dr. Winsor. "Man, I had so many referrals in my office for kids using the f-word, the b-word, on the playground just going to violence quickly. Now, it's rare that I ever get a referral from anything on the playground, because they know how to take care of their own problems. They know kindness and sportsmanship."
Site coordinator Daniel Taylor believes the problem solving is more important now then ever before, with many kids getting introduced to technology and screens at a young age.
"With the boom in technology, everyone's become anti-social, Playworks comes in," said Taylor. "How to be kids, how to have fun, how to interact with people in respectful and healthy ways."
"Bullying is something wrong, and nobody should do it," said Dodge,
Playworks Arizona is in 40 Arizona schools full time, mostly in Maricopa County, but are hoping to expand and reach as many Arizona kids as possible.