Introducing Our Newest Board Member

  1. Updates

We are delighted to announce the newest addition to our Board of Directors, Karla Childers.

Karla received her Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI) in 2004.  Upon graduation, she took a position in Merck Research Laboratories as a bench chemist in the Process Chemistry department and in 2007 transitioned into a role supporting the outsourcing efforts for the chemistry group.  She managed vendor relationships and the outsourced projects with partners in the U.S., Europe, and Asia for two years before moving into the Global Project Management department in 2009.  In 2012, Karla obtained a Master’s of Science in Jurisprudence in Health Law from Seton Hall Law School, a program designed to provide professionals working in healthcare with the legal framework of the highly regulated industry.  She now serves as a Project Manager working with cross functional product teams to bring new therapies through development to patients and healthcare providers.

Karla has always been passionate about sports and fitness, having been a three sport varsity athlete in high school, a two-time participant in the Chicago Marathon, and more recently a self-confessed yoga and tennis junkie. She first learned about Playworks through her connection with Julia Dillon, a fellow yoga practitioner.  Having served as a mentor and coach in a variety of roles throughout her academic and professional career, Karla places a high value on knowledge sharing and leading by example. “I had been seeking a way to give back more directly in my community in some type of leadership capacity when I first heard about Playworks through Julia.”  After hearing the mission of Playworks and then seeing the program in action – Karla knew she had to be a part of this incredible opportunity to give kids safe play, a simple approach to conflict resolution, and strong role models.

More Updates


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 21, 2022

Building Skill Through Play: Managing Disappointment and Teaching Positive Body Language ›

It’s the holiday season! Schools and Playworks are counting down the days until winter break, but first we’re focusing on managing disappointment and teaching positive body language.  We all know that it can be incredibly easy to get swept up in the negative emotions a disappointment brings because our expectations were not met. For kids,…

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…