Join Our Team

Lead the Play Movement

ProgramMilwaukee, WI

Program Specialist

Playworks is the leading national nonprofit leveraging the power of play to bring out the best in every kid. Learn about the energetic, creative people working to ensure every kid has the chance to play—every day.

ABOUT PLAYWORKS, at Playworks we believe in the power of play to bring out the best in every kid. We are changing the school climate 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 by partnering with schools, districts, and after-school programs through services including digital engagement, on-site coaches, professional training for school staff who support play, and consultative partnerships.

ABOUT THE POSITION, as a Program Specialist you will help demonstrate the power of Playworks in communities throughout Wisconsin by providing single or multi-day training, on-site service delivery, spreading awareness of Playworks through school recruitment and outreach, and providing support for programming across Wisconsin. This position will be  split between various program and training activities, and will require frequent travel.

Specifically, you will:

Program Implementation (50%)

  • Plan and implement a consultative play-based program (Team-Up) at one or two district or charter elementary schools.
  • Provide substitution and other collaborative instructional support as needed. Program duties include:
    • Maintain communication between Playworks staff, school staff, teachers, and volunteers
    • Collect and maintain paperwork including organizing daily, weekly, monthly schedules, meeting agendas, implementation emails, notes, lesson plans, school newsletters and data.
    • Plan and implement the learning units and recess staff training for program components.
    • Support hub/regional team and national program department with development of programmatic learning.
    • Deliver onsite coaching, consultation, and modeling to school personnel, implementing the following components.
      • Recess - with School Personnel create and coach recess staff to develop a safe and inclusive playground and be a significant presence on the playground by organizing and playing large games with 20+ students as well as role modeling positive behavior.
      • Student leadership program – with School Personnel organize a “Junior Coach” student leadership program by facilitating training as well as coaching recess staff to supervise and manage Junior Coaches during recess. This includes an afterschool component with students; teaching the leadership curriculum  and game facilitation.
      • Instructional classes - lead instructional classes with elementary grade levels students and their teacher in skills building, cooperative games, and activities to increase awareness of rules, boundaries, skills utilized and cultural expectations at recess.

Professional Development Services (50%)

  • Become a certified trainer to deliver all Playworks Pro services, includes travel throughout Wisconsin and neighboring states delivering Playworks training.
  • On non-program implementation weeks implement and facilitate various trainings throughout Wisconsin and possibly nearby regions

Hub & Regional Support: 

  • Ongoing learning to develop training skills and curriculum
  • Act as a partner for fundraising projects and events 
  • Attend conferences and professional development opportunities
  • Support Playworks programming and community initiatives i.e. Employee Appreciation, Corporate Play Dates etc.
  • Take an active role in pre-service training for all new and returning staff.

Customer Recruitment

  • Assist in general outreach strategy that may include, school contact research, attending local conferences, conducting on-site demonstrations to recruit new schools, and being a creative partner in these efforts.
  • Work in partnership with Hub Program team members on Playworks programming and consultation services, including planning, implementation, training, evaluation and program quality
  • Conduct Recess Assessments, Great Recess Framework evaluations as needed with RecessCheckUp, PlayworksU, Keep Playing and Pro schools
  • Help regional leader/team with implementing a strong school recruitment team and partner referral program
  • Generate  $5,000 - $7,000 in sales of Pro services

Administrative Duties:

  • Will “own” several demonstration projects including client communication, proactive internal Playworks communication and timely reporting.
  • Collect and maintain paperwork including organizing daily, weekly, and monthly schedules, timesheets, and mileage reports.
  • Engage in performance enrichment with their direct manager.
  • Managing training materials, equipment, supplies, storage unit

If you're a good fit for this position, you already know most of what this job entails. However, to be sure we're providing a complete picture, here are some details:

  • Success in this position will require the ability to make connections and sustain multiple relationships while multi-tasking other important projects.
  • The strongest candidate will be a confident leader with the ability to take on many roles and sell Playworks to new partners. 
  • A want and desire to grow and sell Playworks program 
  • You will be successful if you can own projects, drive initiatives, and be a communicative team player. 

Required Skills & Experience:

  • Demonstrated experience leading groups of children of all sizes with the ability to engage and inspire youth
  • Ability to speak Spanish fluently is highly desired
  • Proven ability to train adult participants including helping with change management, connecting strategies to outcomes and being able to speak on a micro and macro scales.
  • Motivated self-starter with clear and open communication skills
  • Humorous and playful with ability to set clear goals and follow through with flexible and creative problem-solving tools while  working efficiently and effectively
  • Ability to engage with diverse staff and leadership to promote equity, trust, collaboration, and partnership between departments and levels of leadership. 
  • Conceptual ability for the larger perspective with a strong attention to detail and multitasking
  • Experience interacting with diverse communities and the ability to integrate into an existing school community
  • Knowledge of computer and internet-based programs for use in communication and grant requirements
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills, both oral and written
  • Ability to manage assorted tasks with a focus on enhancing the experience for youth during the school day 
  • Must have access to reliable transportation to travel locally, this position will require travel to various regional locations

Compensation & Benefits:

Playworks offers the full package - great benefits, a fun place to work and an opportunity to grow professionally. We offer:

  • Competitive nonprofit salary commensurate with experience. This is a full-time, exempt position which reports directly to the Partner Experience Manager and Program Director. 
  • A comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental, vision, disability, 401(k), life insurance, employee funded pre-tax health, and childcare spending accounts.
  • Generous flexible paid time off policy with paid sick and holiday leave.

This is a hands-on, creative, playful and fun-loving place to work, all while contributing to the success of our nation’s youth. If you're ready to immerse yourself in the education sector, working on a rewarding set of challenges and if you've got the skills, experience, passion, and a team spirit, apply!

Please include:

  • A cover letter describing your interest in Playworks and how your experience has prepared you for this role.
  • Resume.
  • References will be requested if competitive for the position. 

Playworks is changing the way children experience school every day by leveraging the power of safe and healthy play. We create a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills. Our ambitions demand that we invest in recruiting, developing and managing a team that reflects the broad diversity of our communities. 

Our core values of inclusion, respect, healthy community and healthy play are the foundation of our organization and are infused in all aspects of our work, including recruiting and retaining the best talent we can. While diversity is often used in reference to visual characteristics such as race, ethnicity, age, sex and physical appearance, we embrace a broader definition of diversity that also includes less visible factors, we also recognize that individuals can affiliate with multiple identities.

As an equal opportunity program, Playworks encourages applications from all individuals regardless of national origin, religion, gender, differing abilities (physical, mental, learning), sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, political affiliation, military experience, and any other legally protected basis. Playworks evaluates all candidates on a merit basis.