About Playworks New England | Playworks

Playworks for every kid

About Playworks New England

Every child deserves a sense of belonging and the opportunity to contribute. Playworks New England creates a safe, inclusive school environment that allows kids to learn, play and thrive. The 2016-17 school year marks the tenth year anniversary of Playworks Massachusetts and the 20th anniversary of the founding Playworks. Thank you to the New Balance Foundation, our lead sponsor, for energizing education for 10 years.

This year, Playworks is serving 20,000 students in 32 low-income schools with our full-time program in Boston, Lawrence, Salem, and Somerville and 8 low-income schools with our TeamUp program in Brockton and Somerville teaching valuable skills like teamwork and cooperation while reducing conflict and restoring learning time. We’re also reaching thousands of others across New England through our Pro service where we provide professional development services to adults who supervise play at their schools and community organizations.

Every year, Playworks surveys teachers, staff and principals at our partner schools to help us learn more about the impact of our program.  Here’s what they told us:

  • 99 percent reported that students showed an increase in physical activity;
  • 98 percent reported an increase in the level of participation in academic activities;
  • 98 percent reported an increaase in the number of students engaged in healthy play;
  • 94 percent reported that Playworks had a positive impact on overall school climate;

Moreover, 99% of school staff reported that they want Playworks to return to their school and this is a true testament to our success. Our ability to deliver high quality and high impact programming every day illustrates that Playworks has a proven program that makes lasting impacts.


Prior to Playworks, our recess was chaotic for students and recess incidents trickled over into the rest of our school day, taking time away from precious instructional time. The Playworks program has transformed our recess at the Chittick. Our students are actively engaged, and the program allows students to learn conflict resolution, cooperation and respect for rules, taking turns, sharing, communication and problem solving skills. These are life-long skills that will help our students be successful academically and socially.We are so thankful for the Playworks program at the Chittick!!

-Michelle Burnett-Herndon, Principal, James J. Chittick Elementary School


Playworks offers training and full-time services for schools and youth development organizations throughout New England. Contact Executive Director Jonathan Gay 617-708-1734 to learn more aobut the program that will work for you.