United Way Announces Playworks Among Winners of Competitive Grant Awards

  1. Updates

The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley on Thursday, May 31 announced it will distribute $30.8 million in support of strategies, organizations, partnerships and programs aimed at solving entrenched poverty and income inequality across the region. Playworks is incredibly grateful to be included as a recipient of a $55,000 grant in support of our Junior Coach Leadership Program for 4th and 5th grade students. As a trusted source for identifying effective programs and strategies, United Way will award strategic grants to 146 nonprofit partners, distribute dollars designated by donors to organizations in the region, and fund innovative initiatives and public policy work.

Also announced was a key partnership aimed at raising even more dollars to solve community problems. United Way has teamed up with the global technology company Salesforce to launch a new social platform called Philanthropy Cloud that will transform the way people engage with and support the causes they care about most. This new platform will allow companies to easily aggregate data to understand the collective impact of their employees, transforming the way companies align their philanthropic objectives with those of their workforce.

United Way Impact in the Community

United Way funding of non-profit partners, partnerships, and initiatives next year is expected to help 250,000 people and specifically will:

  • Provide 18,300 young children and their families with high-quality early education, care, and support to optimize their healthy development and school readiness;
  • Ensure that 50,740 youth are given the opportunity to develop critical skills and experiences needed to succeed in the workforce and in life;
  • Provide 159,000 individuals and families with safe, affordable housing and emergency assistance to pay for rent, food and utilities and help prevent evictions; and
  • Place 14,500 individuals in jobs that pay family-sustaining wages and provide resources to improve their credit, increase savings and reduce debt.

“Putting people first is our main priority at United Way,” said Krissy Davis, a Board Member of United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. “Through very strategic partnerships with our community-based organizations, we can do more to effect real change that empowers more people to find opportunity, provides more solid foundations for our young people to thrive, and gives the tools for upward mobility to those that need the help the most.”

About United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley:

The United Way believes in harnessing the power of communities working together to deliver lasting change. They invest in organizations and direct programs that achieve high quality outcomes in financial opportunity and educational success, aligned with best practices and research to provide them with extensive support for continued success. The United Way values partners that consistently demonstrate a commitment to collaboration and directs their funding to support the needs of vulnerable populations. They provide valuable unrestricted funds to nonprofit partners, seed innovative, new approaches to solving entrenched community challenges and seek opportunities to scale programs, services and policy changes that work.

About the Playworks Junior Coach Leadership Program:

The Junior Coach Leadership Program is a core component of Playworks programming. Playworks Coaches at our partner schools select 15 fourth and fifth grade students to serve as Junior Coaches throughout the entire school year. Junior Coaches attend trainings during the critical after school hours with their Playworks Coach and serve as peer leaders during recess. When they are on duty at recess, they help lead games and resolve conflicts for younger students and their peers. During February break, Junior Coaches participate in a two-day Junior Coach Leadership Convention with students from schools across the city of Boston. For almost all of our Junior Coaches, this program is their very first leadership opportunity.

Playworks is grateful to receive a grant of $55,000 from United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley in support of our Junior Coach program.

More Updates


May 25, 2021

Recess Reboot at the Guilmette Elementary School ›

Playworks knows that recess is one of the most critical opportunities for students to be physically active, build core social-emotional skills, and build relationships with their peers. However, recess can often be a source of stress and chaos for schools – especially in light of new guidelines and restrictions due to COVID-19. For some added…

Principal Coleen Smith
Principal Coleen Smith

May 24, 2021

Recess Rocks in RI prioritizes Rhode Island students’ health and well-being throughout COVID-19 crisis ›

Recess Champions program recognizes educators who have made play a priority   Recess Rocks in Rhode Island, a six-year old partnership of Playworks New England, the Rhode Island Healthy Schools Coalition (RIHSC) and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI), has launched an initiative to recognize school professionals who have made it a priority…

May 21, 2021

Six Boston Schools Receive $25,000 in Wellness Grants After Helping Get Boston Back in Motion ›

More Than 3,000 Students Participate in Month-Long Effort Aimed at Improving Health and Well-Being of Youth BOSTON  – Boston Back in Motion, an effort to get young people across Boston to stay active as schools transition back to in-person learning, on Friday awarded six Boston schools a total of $25,000 in wellness grants for participating…