Champion of Play – Mr. Nicolella

  1. Updates

Mr. Nicolella is a Champion of Play! He is an eighth grade teacher who has supported Playworks from day one at Kearny Elementary. After our first class game time, Mr. Nicolella asked if his class could have game time more often, so we decided that his seventh graders would have it each week as opposed to every other week. Additionally, during what is supposed to be his break, he helps lead a football tournament at the middle school recess. Mr. Nicolelle has a great relationship with his students, he encourages them to get in the game and be active. He has been there to remind the students of the behavior that I expect to see at recess. He is an advocate for a healthy and safe community, and he helps the students realize the importance of play in their lives. On top of it all, he coaches the middle school boys baseball team. His hard work and support has really propelled the Playworks program forward at Kearny.

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…

March 25, 2021

Top 6 Games to Play Physically Distant with No Equipment ›

As more and more schools transition back to in-person learning, we know educators are looking for games that are physically-distant and don’t require equipment. The need for play is more important than ever due to the isolation that our kids have endured during COVID-19. Play encourages creativity, flexibility, teamwork, and other critical social skills. We’ve…