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


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…

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…

June 25, 2021

Playworks & Buffalo Sabres Partner for Girls Community Leadership Program ›

When the Buffalo Sabres Foundation was looking for ways to virtually engage their young fans after their Kids Club programming was canceled due to COVID, they turned to Playworks. Building off of the Sabres’ interest in introducing ice hockey to more girls, Playworks created the Girls Community Leadership Program. Dontae Privette, Playworks Community Engagement and…