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.

Contact Us

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


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 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…

January 31, 2022

Haley Friel ›

Coach Haley hails from northern California where she spent her childhood days as champion of the handball court. After graduating from Whitman College with a degree in sociology she dug into agriculture and ran the education program on a large…

May 9, 2022

Jahari Jaco ›

Jahari has been working in education for 10 years. She has her CDA (child development associate) in early childhood and also has experience working in elementary schools as a special education paraprofessional and behavior specialist. She was born and raised…

Get Involved

Help us bring out the best in kids—through play.

Donate Now