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


August 18, 2022

Planning your back to school playground ›

We’re in the late days of summer and the “Back to School” signs and supplies are popping up everywhere! Students and teachers are getting ready to head back to the classroom, and back to recess. Check out these suggestions to prepare your playground for another awesome year full of growth, fun, and play. Mapping your…

August 1, 2022

2021-22 Year End Report ›

After two years of isolation and adapted schooling, our students and staff spent a full year together in school buildings. We continued innovating to meet the needs of students, schools, and partners. Our return to in-person events was filled with joy, and throughout it all, bringing the healing power of play to students across New…

three people with Playworks shirts
three people with Playworks shirts

July 28, 2022

A year of social and emotional learning ›

“You can’t do SEL, trauma, or equity work without each other,” Jennette Claassen, Head of Evaluation, Playworks. As Playworks continued to progress on our equity journey, we explored a critical question: what are the intersections between play, social and emotional learning, physical activity, and trauma? A working group focused on this question decided, among other…