About Playworks Illinois

All kids deserve the social, emotional, and physical benefits of play. We help schools and youth programs create healthy play environments where every child can join in.

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Meet Playworks Illinois


Founded in 1996, Playworks expanded to Illinois in 2011. Playworks Illinois serves low-income schools through our year-round, on-site support services. We’re also reaching thousands more students across Illinois through professional development workshops for schools and youth organizations.

Meet our Service Partners

Learn about our Impact

Read the Playworks Equity Statement

Meet Our People


August 5, 2019

Carly Siess ›

Carly attended Hope College, studying sociology and woman and gender studies, where she advocated for many of the unheard voices on campus. As a Inter-group Dialogue Facilitator, she fostered “brave” spaces for Hope’s diverse communities to find common ground and…

December 13, 2021

Debbie Serota ›

Debbie Serota (she/her) is the Director of Programs and Partnerships for Playworks Illinois. She is known as a collaborative leader, with experience and expertise in social and emotional learning, trauma informed response, and diversity, equity, and inclusion work. At Playworks…

Christina headshot
Christina headshot

December 9, 2021

Christina Ukachukwu ›

Christina received a Bachelor’s degree in Youth Ministry and Adolescence Studies from Judson University in 2016. Over the past few years, she has worked with youth in many capacities. She loves finding new ways to empower youth to become authors…

Join the Team


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

Open positions