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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Playworks

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Camps, Children & Youth, Philanthropy, Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations, Recreation & Sports, Sports, Youth Development Programs

Mission: To improve the health and well-being of children by increasing opportunities for physical activity and safe, meaningful play.

Target demographics: We are changing school culture by leveraging the power of safe, fun, and healthy play at school every day. We create a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Playworks currently serves more than 1,300 schools in 23 U.S. cities, and reaches more than 700,000 students directly and through professional training services.

Geographic areas served: Playworks is the leading national nonprofit leveraging the power of play to transform children’s social and emotional health.

Programs: Playworks partners with schools, districts, and after-school programs to provide a service or mix of services including on-site coaches, professional training for school staff who support recess, and consultative partnerships.

Community Stories

120 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

Playworks is an excellent organization that I have had the privilege of being involved with these past few years. Getting to see the direct impact they have on kids firsthand is truly special!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Playworks is a great organization that I've had the privilege of being involved with for the past year. Getting to attend school recess and witness the power of what these coaches do for their kids is truly special. The inclusion, empowerment, and social skills these kids get out of a Playworks program, at an age that is so important, is amazing and why I'm proud to be a part of such an impactful organization.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Since my first Get in the Game in spring of 2014, I knew the difference Playworks makes and was honored to be asked to be on the Board. Witnessing the positive impact with the students, the decision to get involved was an easy one. Social emotional learning for our students is key for their success, in and out of school. The ability to increase self esteem through healthy and safe play is a must! The Junior Leadership program has a huge impact as well. Excited to see the future with these young men and women before our future leaders!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Playworks is creating tomorrows leaders through play! Teaching leadership skills, conflict resolution and inclusion while making it fun for the children, and reducing bullying. What a difference they make to recess! All children deserve organized play to make learning more successful.

Dina Marie R.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Ever since Playworks started in Ferndale Schools recess has become a safe, inclusive atmosphere where kids help kids! The coaches and staff from Playworks always go above and beyond to ensure all students have the right to participate, play, and be a kid with a smile on their face! (Leaving the adults with smiles on their hearts!)

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Playworks is a non profit organization that puts PLAY back in the hearts of children and educators each and every day! Our district partnered with Playworks many years ago and the rewards & results for our students is priceless! I can't say enough about the pride, passion, and purpose that all Playworks staff put into each day!
Dina Rocheleau
Assistant Superintendent
Ferndale Public Schools
Ferndale, MI

Heidi Cooley

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a mother of two young girls, I believe in the power of play. Active kids are stronger learners so I appreciate the social and emotional skills that Playworks teaches our children during recess right here in Colorado. While enabling inclusive and engaging play (and reducing bulling on the playground), Playworks also teaches valuable life lessons such conflict resolution (hello rock, paper, scissors) and leadership (junior coaches are the coolest). I enthusiastically support Playworks in touching more kids in more schools in our communities.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a new Playworks board member but have been involved with this organization for a number of years. I am most impressed with the ability of Playworks in helping kids discover their leadership potential. I am looking forward to a deeper connection to this organization and how we can bring more play to our community!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I volunteered in the past for this organization, as a recess volunteer. It was such an amazing experience. I've also participated in several of their past fundraising events and am now a board member. The programs they provide to kiddos and organizations that believe in power of play are incredible.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My first encounter with Playworks was on the ground as a coach at a K-8 school in East Oakland, California. Even as someone who loved recess and P.E. as a student and considered the experience positive, Playworks transformed my understanding of what effective recess and class game time could be. Using the Playworks playbook, I was able to quickly and effectively implement a program that promoted physical play, inclusion, cooperation and outright fun. The magic of Playworks was evident when I observed previously unruly students becoming compliant, self-described "non-players" leading games and the sheer joy on the faces of everyone on the school yard, from young kindergartners to near-teens. And kids went back to class ready to learn - what a double-win! Playworks definitely works and every school should be lucky enough to experience Playworks!

Advisor

Rating: 5

Playworks may sound fun (and it is!), but they take their mission seriously! The impact of their programming on the social and emotional wellness of the children they reach never ceases to amaze me. I've supported Playworks for more than a decade in a variety of capacities and believe they have tremendous untapped potential left.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Playworks is the leading nonprofit in our community leveraging the power of play to
transform children’s physical and emotional health. Their passion, programming and purpose extend their reach well beyond the schools where they create a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active and build valuable social and emotional skills.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Playworks for almost 6 years and I cant recommend the experience enough. I had long looked for a nonprofit to be involved with and when I came across Playworks and saw how they were working daily, nationally to change kids lives through play I knew I had found the volunteer organization I was looking for. I first participated in recess at Playworks schools, then joined the NY/NJ regional board, and then finally the national board. I see firsthand how the hard work of all the Playworks professionals changes trajectories for children.

Liz M.8

Board Member

Rating: 5

Playworks is about more than just increasing physical activity opportunities for kids in our communities. Playworks provides opportunities for kids to develop leadership skills, learn and practice inclusivity, be proactive in creating kinder communities, and learn effective problem-solving skills. Furthermore, Playworks has an impact on schools that transcends recess, and provides tangible benefits to teachers in the classroom, including but not limited to more effective and efficient transition periods, decreased disruptions, and gained teaching time.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My team and I have seen the impact that Playworks has on our local community. We have volunteered at recess and youth sporting events and through these experiences it was evident how much of a positive impact these programs have on the children they serve. We have even conducted a playground beautification and seeing the results has been so rewarding.

Lisa409

Board Member

Rating: 5

First class org, great leadership, great outcomes.

Previous Stories
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Board Member

Rating: 5

Playworks is doing amazing things to make sure that every kid has play in their life. And they have big plans to do more. Fantastic organization, amazing leadership team and a mission everyone can get behind!

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Jeff B.8

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have donated repeatedly to Playworks (both regional and national) directly and through my company. They provide an amazing service to elementary schools and students, and I believe it is a great return on investment for donors. A Playworks-powered school sees a drop in bullying of 50% and readiness-to-learn after recess increases by over 25%. Given the small cost per student to administer the program, this is as good an ROI as I have found to improve educational outcomes and supporting Social/Emotional learning.

I liked Playworks so much, I have since joined the board of directors! :)

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We need collaborative , inclusive community leaders. That's what Playworks does! Their junior coach program is amazing. Kids are trained to meaningfully contribute to their school community by being game leaders and culture keepers for younger students. They help their school have a great recess while they prepare to become our future leaders!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Playworks has served as an instrumental program in underdeveloped community schools (specifically in my Denver area). I have been invited to multiple service projects and observed recesses, and it's always nice to see full involvement from the children. Playworks continues to create an inclusive environment that promotes physical activity, as well as other desirable traits in these young school children. Overall the organization has my full support and will for the foreseeable future!

Board Member

Rating: 5

My son, Darius, was a junior coach in 4th grade, 7 years ago and I can still see the leadership skills he learned from Playworks being used in his daily life. I truly believe the value of play and the impact it has in the classroom and the ability to teach leadership skills on a peer to peer level. The value is continued to be seen as he continues his journey through life. I now sit on the board to ensure this non-profit continues to bring out the best super-powers of every kid through play and ultimately gives them the best opportunity in the classroom

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Playworks Colorado when my son became a Junior Coach. Our lives were forever changed as I watched my son learn to use his super powers and become a great leader. I was compelled to get more involved in order to ensure every child has the same opportunity as my son. As schools focus more and more on academics, it is important to keep play and recess alive and use them as tools to create positive leaders. I am honored to sit on the Playworks Board and help this organization grow!

Board Member

Rating: 5

My first introduction to Playworks was at a panel where Jill Vialet and Angela Duckworth discussed the value and definition of 'play', most notably when dissecting why we don't consider work to be play. Wouldn't the world be a better place if we all felt as though work was 'play'?! Wanting to learn more about the organization and mission, I subsequently attended a site visit where I saw first hand the value and impact that the Playworks approach could have on children and schools. I won't lie, I was speechless as I watched 50 second and third graders navigate a recess, on a repurposed parking lot, exhibiting a combination of mutual respect, patience, and conflict resolution I don't believe I could have exhibited! As I have grown to know more and commit deeper to Playworks, I continue to be wowed by the mission, the approach, and the results in students both in real time and in their extended communities as they embrace what they learn and apply it in their every day lives.

Faye Blount G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization provides a critical service to children in our area. Teaching life skills and play at the same time - what could be better?! Having volunteered for several events, I have been able to see firsthand the benefits of these programs. While it is designed to provide a safe and fun environment for children, it also provides great rewards for the adults involved as well. Children can gain such self confidence and return to the classroom ready to learn.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Playworks is an incredible nonprofit that brings so much joy into children's lives. Not only that but it teaches kids teamwork, collaboration, and better ways for conflict resolution. The first time I witnessed Playworks at an elementary recess in action I was absolutely floored. Every child was playing and having a great time. But better yet there were no arguments, fights or disruptions. Quite literally, all ~100 kids were playing, laughing and smiling. It warmed my heart and I knew I was witnessing something special. This is an incredible organization and I highly encourage folks to check them out and support.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first became acquainted with Playworks through one of their coaches. Outside of school and his working hours, he had constant and wonderful relationships with children and parents in my neighborhood. With every interaction, he fostered fun, reduced bullying and really brought together the community. That same enthusiasm outside of ‘work’ is multiplied even stronger at each of the schools Playworks’ serves. They transform playgrounds and have done so much to help kids be kids.

In a world and country so marred by hateful rhetoric and actions – Playworks works tireless to bring and develop civility for our next generations.