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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

95 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

camichaels

Board Member

Rating: 5

I'm excited to have just joined the Playworks Silicon Valley board. It's very empowering, rewarding, and incredibly fun for this group to focus on such a critical area of youth development. Play time needs to be valued for helping every kid grow, connect, and learn important fundamentals that will serve them well no matter what path in life they choose. I love seeing the kids' excitement on the playground as well as watching the leadership skills develop in the junior coaches. I look forward to helping expand the Playworks footprint as I believe every school, child, and parent can benefit from what Playworks has to offer.

Joni W.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was honored to be asked to join the Playworks Colorado board 1 year ago. i was drawn to the organization by their simple, but powerful mission: ensure that every kid engages in healthy play. The "powerful" part is self-evident the moment you step on to a school playground during a Playworks recess. These kids are all involved, all at play, resolving conflict among themselves. You don't see the random gaggle of kids off to the side. No loners. There is inclusion, organized play, laughter and energy. But the real magic comes when they return to the classroom ready to learn. When they become junior coaches, or go on to high school with confidence and leadership skills. Oh, and understand how to combat bullying. I can't say enough about the vision of this organization. Every kid not only deserves, but needs to play. It's literally life-changing. Join the revolution, bring play to your schools via Playworks!

Weston F.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Playworks lives its mission by providing students with safe, inclusive play at the schools it serves. Playworks is guided by an outstanding staff and coaches and is constantly showing how it will continue to innovate to serve students. Keep up the great work improving classroom productivity and creating a bully-free school climate.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Playworks has been a vital part of our transformation as a school. Not only do the kids now have complete ownership of our Playground, they take an immense amount of pride in being leaders on our campus. Each junior coach takes their role to heart and will often be found making sure they have adjusted their schedule and have everything ready to help their fellow classmates have a successful day on the playground. With the elimination of the words "you're out" and the addition of "good job nice try," even those students who have to get back in line and try again aren't discouraged and instead are excited to give it another go. Overall we have seen a decrease of conflict on the playground as a direct result of the implementation of the Playworks program. Under the direction of our site coach, this program has been fantastic for the overall structure and routines of all our recesses, an opportunity for kids to learn good sportsmanship, an opportunity for kids and teachers to participate in fun physical activities both as teams and individuals, and a fantastic leadership opportunity for our students.

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization is amazing! Playworks is exactly what’s needed on all school playgrounds during recess. Healthy, safe, inclusive play makes a difference for all kids, and all students deserve this experience.

Being involved with Playworks has been fun!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I love Playworks and the amazing work they do for kids and communities. I wish we'd had this as kids.. play is an important part of learning and growing up and becoming a positive participant in society. Playworks helps kids develop healthy habits and positive relationships, and engage in fun play time experiences!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am so proud of all of the work Playworks is driving to encourage safe and healthy play on the play ground! I'm on the Board of a wonderful organization. Their mission of providing and promoting healthy, safe, inclusive play has become more critical in our society than ever before. My son is also part of this fantastic organization as a Junior Coach at Blackford Elementary for the last 3 years. He enjoys teaching “ro-sham-bo” to the Kindergarten and First grade to resolve conflict on the playground. He is learning leadership skills that will translate how he grows in school and life. I ask you to join in providing healthy play for all of our children across the nation! #Playworks rocks!
Consider Donating to Free Schools of Bullying!! https://www.playworks.org/

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 work with many schools across Metro Detroit and over the years have seen a decline in access to safe, healthy play. I love that Playworks brings recess and physical activity back into schools!

Tiffany K.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PlayWorks Colorado is a remarkable organization impacting our most vulnerable segment: youth. By teaching confidence building and conflict resolution, PlayWorks is allowing kids in Colorado the opportunity to healthfully work through and resolve issues with their peers setting up patterns for the rest of their life. The organization is integrated in the community, striving to increase their impact and reach.

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As an elementary Principal I learned about Playworks and little did I know the IMPACT Playworks would have on my school family! The philosophy of Playworks goes hand in hand with our school family and this is how our partnership began! Once we partnered with Playworks the dramatic effects the program components had on our student population was mind blowing! Ever since that first year we started with Playworks I have become an advocate for Playworks. The intentionality of everything they do pays off! The ability to support a healthy school culture built with the necessity of safety, fun and play is what every school needs. For students to be included, accepted and empowered on and off the playground is essential for a healthy social and emotional development. As I moved from a Principal to a district leader we were able to bring Playworks to other elementary schools and share the principles behind Playworks with all staff. As an advocate of Playworks I know support them by being an active board member as well. I stand behind Playworks vision to make sure every child, every day gets to play in a setting of love, acceptance and understanding.
Wishing you well,
Dina Rocheleau
Ferndale Public Schools

Board Member

Rating: 5

When I think about the impact that Playworks has on our children, I am so proud to be a part of the organization. From developing young leaders on the playground through the Junior Coach Program, the conflict resolution skills, and inclusion - Playworks lays the foundation for successful individuals, regardless of their socio-economic status.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My children attended a high poverty, very diverse elementary school in Milwaukee. The first week Playworks piloted a program there, my children every night at dinner showed us all the games they learned.

Once Playworks came to the school, i saw firsthand how it strengthened the school environment. The parent teacher association chose Playworks as the one thing it raised money for through Friday night taco dinners. This was a school with over 80% free and reduced lunch so the fact parents supported this says a lot.

My oldest daughter who used to sit and read during recess began participating in activities and moving instead. My younger daughter who had never liked being in activities and programs loved it. She joined their no rules basketball league and volleyball league and loved them - the only sports she's played to this day. Two of my children were junior coaches and took it quite seriously. My son who could misbehave at times did not want to jeopardize his role and was super responsible about it. They loved running the games for younger kids.

I wish all schools had Playworks to engage kids in activity, prevent bullying, and engage kids as collaborators and leaders. I wish they had still had it in middle school!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am incredibly proud to be a part of this world class organization, one that values the need for play the same way that I do. Playworks is making a huge impact on kids all across this great country. I have seen for myself what they have accomplished and I believe their mission is one that we should all take notice of. The leadership in this organization are committed to making a difference and I for one am thrilled to be a part of it.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Playworks has been a very inclusive model for all students and the philosophy encourages students of all abilities to join. The program encourages typical peers to be supportive of students that have differences from them.

One of my students is on the Autism spectrum. He has a strong desire to join activities and doing what other students are involved in doing. When recess is unstructured, he tends to hang out by himself and not engage with other students. When there are structured games, such as switch, tag, or duck duck goose, he is able to access the activity.

He is happy because gets to join a game and have fun when there is a game format and routine. In addition, he gets to benefit from working on his IEP goals because he has to take turns, wait, and be flexible with the small details. One of the great things about Playworks is there is never too much waiting and there are always clear directions about returning. Everyone is trained to cheer for everyone so this student always feels good even when the skill is a challenge for him.

1 Kevin155

Board Member

Rating: 5

Playworks demonstrates an incredible mission, outstanding staff and management, and a growing platform all back by proven success in reducing bulling, fostering inclusive play, improving classroom productivity and building stronger culture in the schools it serves.

Katie166

Board Member

Rating: 5

I love Playworks!! I've been a member of the SF Board for a year, and continue to be impressed by the impact of Playworks. Providing a healthy, supportive and immersive recess experience can be transformative for children and I've learned so much from the staff and coaches. This is an amazing group of people doing amazing work.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Playworks is an outstanding organization starting with the dedicated Coaches and Staff that work tirelessly to make sure that EVERY kid has a positive association with school. The positive energy that each and every Playworker brings to the school yard (and front office) is unrivaled and speaks to their lasting philosophy that fun & safe places are necessary for kids and adults alike.

It is an honor to serve on the East Bay Board and I look forward to many years of being a part of the family.

Board Member

Rating: 5

One of the most active, competent, and engaged boards I've been part of. I highly recommend it. Playworks really knows how to execute on their mission and have a material impact in the lives of the people they serve.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Great, visionary organization that is trying to scale to magnify its impact. Programming at schools and effect on kids is amazing to see first hand.