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


January 18, 2023

Building skills through play: adult engagement at recess ›

What does adult engagement look like at recess and why is it important? Adults actively engaging on the playground is important because it encourages healthy play at recess. Playworks’ programming recognizes this and highlights the need of providing a kind and consistent adult during the school day for students to connect and build trusting relationships that…

January 10, 2023

Understanding the Complex Simplicities of Play ›

Play is a behavior that is natural and has existed for thousands of years and across species. It combines a set of made-up rules or norms and a willingness to explore. Researchers, scientists, and doctors have studied the effects of play on kids–and adults–and understand that this natural behavior has tremendous benefits. As the American…

December 28, 2022

Looking forward to joy in 2023 ›

Over the last five weeks, we have been exploring the concept of joy. We’ve answered check-in questions on our Instagram based around joy, heard from five Coaches on Facebook about what brings them joy, and found out from students what about recess brings them so much joy. To close out the year, we have been…