How to Fund a Playworks Partnership

  1. Updates

Playworks is looking forward to stepping up as a key partner for our schools as the new school year launches this fall. Among all of the competing priorities for recovery, Playworks stands out as an evidence-based solution for improving school culture, regaining instructional time, and improving student feelings of safety. This long-standing track record also means there are many options for funding your partnership with Playworks.

As students return to school buildings after prolonged periods of isolation, Principals are seeing heightened anxiety and an increase in disciplinary challenges. And as families continue to grapple with the economic implications of the crisis, students will face added trauma.

Now more than ever, it is essential students feel safe within their school community, are supported by adult role models, and have access to positive outlets for physical activity and social-emotional development. In each of these critical areas, Playworks has an established track record of success based on years of validated impact.

We’re looking forward to stepping up as a key partner for our schools as the new school year begins this fall. Our evidence-based solutions for improving school culture, regaining instructional time, and improving student feelings of safety qualify under many federal and state funding streams you may not have considered before. We’ve put together a list of the primary funding our partners utilize (download our Funding Easy Sheet 21-22 here). 

Interested in launching a Playworks partnership at your school or have more questions? Set up a time to talk with our partnership team

Title Grants 

Playworks has been found to be evidence-based under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) making Title I, II and IV valid funding streams. Here is a link to our evidence based research.
  • Title I Awarded based on number of students and poverty level, the purpose of Title I is to “provide a continuum of services and resources to Title I districts and charter schools that enrich curriculum and instruction, promote interaction and coordination of supplementary services and resources, and result in excellence and high expectations for educators and students.” This is the most common funding stream used by Playworks partner schools
  • Title II Awarded based on number of students and poverty level, the purpose of Title II is to “increase the academic achievement of all students by helping schools and districts improve teacher and principal quality and effectiveness.” All Playworks program models include intentional professional development making Title II a viable funding stream
  • Title IV Part AAwarded based on formula for the 21-22 school year, this funding is intended to support “well-rounded educational opportunities, social and emotional supports, and effective technology use and integration.” Click here for the most recent Title IV Resource Guide including allowable interventions (Playworks qualifies under section 4108). 
  • Title IV Innovation GrantThe grant is intended to directly increase students’ social and emotional wellness through innovative programming. This funding will support well-rounded educational opportunities, the implementation of new programming, and/or expand existing programming with demonstrated success. Through this grant, DESE is encouraging applicants to explore innovative programming and embracing SEL competencies, while aligning with the content areas. 
  • Title IV Part B – 21st Century Community Learning CentersCompetitively awarded to youth service organizations, schools & districts, 21st CCLC funding seeks to provide at-risk students a safe environment during non-school hours. Ideal because Playworks services bridge the in-school and out-of-school time.

Other Grants

Safe and Supportive Schools (SaSS) State Educational GrantsState of Massachusetts funding to provide funding to school districts (and their selected schools) to organize, integrate, and sustain school and district-wide efforts to create safe and supportive school environments.

Charter Schools Program (CSP) State Educational Grants (Charter Schools only)These 3-5 year grants are large and support the planning, program design, and initial implementation of new charter schools. 

Fuel Up to Play 60 (up to $4,000) This grant supports physical activity and healthy eating.

America Walks Focused on creating places where all community members have safe, accessible, equitable, and enjoyable places to walk and be physically active. Up to $1,500.

Let’s Move. Active Schools – Several grant opportunities focused on physical activity ranging from $1,000-$10,000. 

Education FirstSEL in Action Awards. These awards aim to seed projects that foster SEL competencies in grades K-12. For new initiatives or expanding existing projects. Educator applications funded up to $7,000. District applications funded up to $25,000. 

Playworks Grant Suggestions and Grant Writing Assistance – These links will take you to the Playworks website and include ideas for where to find additional grants and narratives helpful for grant writing.

Grant Writing Resources and Relevant Research

More Updates


September 15, 2021

Creating an Inclusive Playground ›

When children feel included on the playground, it gives them the space to learn and grow in an environment that they know will celebrate their wins and encourage them to learn from their mistakes. As recently highlighted on NBC, health experts are stressing inclusion for school children, which is why we’re focusing on it as…

NE Team
NE Team

September 8, 2021

Playworks Goes Back to School! ›

We know how important addressing children’s emotional needs is to recover from the learning loss and trauma felt throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s where Playworks steps in. Over the past few months, we have been preparing for modified in-person programming with the intention of bringing an impactful, safe, and fun recess to every child in…

September 1, 2021

2020-21 Year End Report ›

Schools were closed. Sports were cancelled. Recess was still on schedule. Throughout the pandemic, Playworks has been a ready and willing partner to schools across our network, helping to redefine the role of play in the lives of students dealing with increased stress, trauma, and anxiety. The support of dedicated partners helped Playworks continue to provide…