Playworks Goes Back to School!

  1. Updates

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 a time when they need it most. We know how important play and recess was last year, and we’re excited to continue promoting social emotional learning on the playground this year.

Over the last 18 months, we have learned how to use Polyspots to help kids line up 3 feet apart, utilize pool noodles for socially distanced tag games, and transitioned our annual Junior Coach Leadership Conference to an interactive and high-energy two day Zoom event for our 4th and 5th grade Junior Coaches. We know that the upcoming year will continue to require innovative and creative thinking, and are excited to continue to share the ways that our team is rising to meet the challenge.

As many workplaces and schools now have an online presence, we have a unique opportunity to expand our services and bring the power of play to more schools than ever before. This year, we are delivering services in Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.

Here’s our 2021-22 school year at a glance:
  • 36 high-need schools in Massachusetts receiving direct Playworks services with a Coach or Site Coordinator
  • 25 AmeriCorps coaches serving in their Boston or Lawrence communities
  • 167 New England schools connecting with Playworks through training resources or professional development
  • 70,000 kids having a more positive recess experience because of Playworks’ impact in New England

As we look to the year ahead, here are three things that Playworks New England is looking forward to:

  1. Utilizing the power of play and positive, authentic relationships to meet students where they are at on the playground and give them a safe space to learn and grow.
  2. Being committed to social justice work and having conversations in pursuit of a more equitable community, both in our workplace, on the playground, and in our world.
  3. Sharing the Playworks mission through high-impact events such as the Get in the Game Breakfast, Corporate Kickball Tournament, and Playground Beautification Projects.

Interested in bringing Playworks to your school? Let’s talk!

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…

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…

August 24, 2021

Playworks Founder Jill Vialet Publishes ‘Why Play Works’ ›

Play brings out the best in every kid. Over the course of 25 years since Jill Vialet founded Playworks, she and her colleagues, as well as researchers and play experts, have demonstrated precisely how and why play works to help kids learn and grow in the most positive and healthy ways. Jill gathered stories from people…