One day, in the principal's office . . .

In 1995, a frazzled principal with three little boys in tow asked Jill Vialet if she could do anything about recess. We’ve been helping educators re-think playtime ever since.

Our History

Play is a basic human need.

Kids who play are resilient, empathetic, and active.

Through play, kids learn to make friends, solve problems, and believe in themselves. Even in hard times.

Why Play

We help every kid play, every day.

We help schools and youth programs create recess and play environments where every child can join in.

All kids should experience the social, emotional, and physical benefits of play.

What we do

News from the Field

Playworks is a national 501(c)3 nonprofit respected for our evidence-informed services and strategic approach to scale. Now, we are looking beyond the schools that we serve to help 3.5 million students in 7,000 schools experience safe and healthy play every day by 2020. Read what people are writing about Playworks across the country, get the inside story on the growing movement for play, and write about play or Playworks.

In the News Latest Updates Press Kit

Aiming High

Learn about our impact this year and our plan for 2020.

Read the Report

Our People

September 22, 2017

Kristina Walden ›

Kristina Walden joined the Playworks Training Department in 2012 with a decade of experience working in youth development, both as a human/social service provider and as an educational trainer. She also has a wealth of experience facilitating interactive diversity workshops, as a…

July 28, 2017

Jill Vialet ›

CEO and Founder Jill Vialet has worked for more than 30 years in the nonprofit sector. In 1996, Vialet launched Playworks with two schools in Berkeley, California. Currently, the organization brings play and physical activities to children across the country,…

September 22, 2017

Hector Salazar ›

Considered key adviser and subject matter expert on account management, policies, and operations, Hector supports a national team of Account Managers and Regional Partnership Directors in building new relationships with potential school partners. In his 10+ years with Playworks, Hector has…

Our Community


Meet the people and foundations who are improving children’s social and emotional health every day through the power of play.

Corporate Partners

Learn how athletes, businesses, and peer organizations around the country are making our communities playful.

Play Partners

We are fortunate to work alongside many like-minded organizations who believe in the power of safe and healthy play to impact kids’ lives.

Join the Team

We’re hiring! Join us on the playground or behind the scenes.

Open positions