Playworks Comes to Georgia!

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Playworks is extremely pleased to announce the opening of its newest region, Playworks Georgia. With senior staff hired and more folks on the way, the office has a home in Midtown Atlanta and is ready to serve Georgia schools beginning with the new school year.

Ellen McCarty, the new executive director, has been on board since May and meeting with school administrators and community leaders about how to turn recess into a positive experience for all students. With a non-profit background that includes the administration of the Center for Children and Young Adults in Cobb County, Jerusalem House in Atlanta, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Georgia and Alabama, the long-time Atlanta resident is thrilled to be serving the state’s children in her new role.

“I’m looking forward to partnering with elementary schools to transform recess for all the kids on the playground,” says McCarty. “We know teachers and administrators are trying hard to make recess a safer and healthier time and to reduce the problems that often arise – from bullying and fighting to kids being excluded or sitting on the sidelines. Additionally, the increase in physical activity aligns with top state leaders’ pleas to find a way to get kids moving more.  With our help, all kids will have a chance to play and go back to class ready to learn.”

Ellen is joined by Playworks Georgia’s new program director, Jamilica Burke. A former teacher in the Atlanta public schools through Teach for America, Jamilica spent many years developing innovative and creative programs to help underserved children improve their ability to learn. Her background will be invaluable as she helps young students enhance their recess experience and in turn their academic experience as well.

In addition to providing direct service in elementary schools, Playworks Georgia is offering training for other schools and youth organizations that want to help children enjoy a safe and healthy playtime. In other cities, Playworks has partnered with organizations such as the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Clubs to enhance the power of play for thousands of kids.

If you are interested in learning about how you can get involved, please contact Ellen McCarty at 404.452.5633 or

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