About Playworks Minnesota

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 Minnesota

Founded in 1996, Playworks expanded to Minnesota in 2010. Playworks Minnesota serves schools across Minnesota through our year-round, on-site support services. We’re also reaching thousands more students across Minnesota through professional development workshops for schools and youth organizations.

Meet our Service Partners

Read the Playworks Equity Statement


Our Core Values

core values graphic

Every child deserves

• to learn how to be a good friend.

• to feel like a hero.

• a voice.

Playworks outcomes speak for themselves. Last year school principals and teacher reported:

96%more opportunities for inclusion of diverse groups of students.
96%increase in student participation in class activities.
90%decrease in bullying incidents.

Learn more about our Impact

Meet Our People

September 7, 2022

Haley Salewski ›

Haley (Coach Ski) began her work with youth as a Ski Instructor in 2015. She then worked with youth in various roles and attained a B.A. in Developmental Psychology and Health Psychology at the University of Minnesota. Coach Ski believes…

September 22, 2017

Brandon Elsner ›

Brandon Elsner (“Coach Brando” on the playground) is the Program Director for Playworks Minnesota. His passion for play, physical activity and social and emotional wellness comes from his B.S. in Health Promotion and Wellness from the University of Wisconsin Stevens…

September 22, 2017

Shauna McDonald ›

Shauna McDonald is the Executive Director of Playworks Minnesota. In this role, Shauna is responsible for growing Playworks impact and long term sustainability in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. Shauna joined Playworks in 2015 inspired by the vision…

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