May 25, 2017

Healthy Chicago 2.0 and Playworks deepen impact in schools ›

Healthy Chicago 2.0, launched by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Public Health, serves as the start of a new movement dedicated to making Chicago a connected, vibrant, and healthy city for all residents. Playworks partnered with Healthy Chicago 2.0 because of our shared values to create healthier, inclusive school communities where kids can thrive. Through…

February 22, 2017

Celebrating AmeriCorps Week with Coach Shay ›

Playworks Illinois is celebrating AmeriCorps week by highlighting one of our AmeriCorps Coaches, Shamerea Richards. Coach Shay is a first-year coach serving at James N. Thorp Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois. She received her undergraduate degree in Corporate Communication from Eastern Illinois University and returned to the city to help strengthen the Chicago Public School…

November 10, 2016

Founder of Playworks, Jill Vialet, Q&A on Chicago Woman ›

It was in 1996 that Jill Vialet founded Playworks, a national nonprofit providing elementary schools and youth organizations around the country with fun and safe activities. Read the full interview on

August 9, 2016

How Play Fits Into Social and Emotional Learning ›

photo by GettyImages Why are we so quick to dismiss play as a force for learning? As Playworks CEO and founder Jill Vialet notes, "Consider something as simple as a game of foursquare. For kids to keep the game going, they have to practice social and emotional skills. They must learn to follow and create…

June 23, 2016

Fitness With A Spark ›

Playworks has teamed up with New Balance to offer the SparkStart Fitness Challenge across the nation. See how New Balance, MLB athletes, and Playworks are getting kids in the game! Learn more here.

June 7, 2016

Keeping kids healthy and active this summer is easier (and more fun) than you think ›

While summer time is the perfect time for kids to get outside and play, there are plenty of distractions around to keep them from getting good exercise such as the TV,  computer, iPad and video games.  The people from Playworks, a nonprofit aimed at making recess fun and healthy, join Good Day Chicago to talk…

March 3, 2016

Playworks Celebrates AmeriCorps Week. Meet Coach Mollie. ›

Playworks Illinois is celebrating AmeriCorps week by highlighting one of our AmeriCorps coaches, Mollie Strawn. Coach Mollie is a first year coach. Here is what she had to say about her experiences both as a coach and an AmeriCorps member:   “I was nervous on my first day at school. The Playworks team prepared me…

February 4, 2016

Join our Chicago Marathon Team! ›

  Playworks is thrilled to be an official charity of the 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Over the past four years our runners have generously raised funds to support Illinois students’ engagement in safe, rewarding play and physical activity throughout the school day. We believe in the power of play to bring out the…

February 4, 2016

Want to Make a Difference? Join Our Playmakers Board! ›

The Playmakers Board supports the overall mission and programs of Playworks Illinois.  The Playmakers Board membership is comprised of professionals in the Chicago area community who are seeking philanthropic experience beyond basic volunteering. Members will gain hands-on experience in leveraging their individual expertise to effectively support the efforts of Playworks – cultivating and practicing skills…