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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit


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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

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been associated with PLAYWORKS for 4 years as a school district administrator and for the last year as a Board member. As an organization, PLAYWORKS excels in executing their vision and mission to bring out the best in every child through play. We have data to show dramatic improvements in recess behavior as tracked through Office Disciplinary Referrals, and improved school wide behavior as measured by PBIS SET data. All students learn conflict resolution strategies in context, and the opportunities provided to Junior Coaches for leadership training are superior to any I have seen. The PLAYWORKS Executive Director leads this non-profit with passion and skill, and constantly seeks opportunities to grow the organization, build connections, expand services and include diverse groups. School-based Coaches (often Americorp personnel) are well-trained, well-supervised and very effective.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was fortunate enough to see this amazing program in action for 2 years in Oakland in 2002. The staff and program changed the dynamic of the elementary school and the lives of the students. The students were eager for recess and learned lifelong conflict resolution skills.
Recess is often a time when students engage in negative behavior and this transfers throughout the rest of their school day. This can have a very powerful impact on their academic achievement.
I only wish Playworks was in the current school that I work in-we could really use their help!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have seen the impact Playworks has on the playground and it's truly phenomenal. Their staff are upbeat and passionate about working with kids, and it translates into kids with good attitudes and lots of healthy physical activity. They're growing fast and smart. And I love how they figured out how to take something as simple as recess and made it such a gamechanger not only for the school day, but for kids' overall success.