Tag Team – Playworks and Boys & Girls Clubs


Shared goal(s): Continue or Leverage existing partnerships to meet youth needs, Develop staff/volunteers pedagogical competencies


Playworks and Boys & Girls Clubs are collaborating to bring safe and healthy play and the sense of belonging, physical activity and social and emotional learning that comes from that play to thousands of children across the country. This partnership launched in 2019. Two aspects make this collaboration unique: first, Playworks is giving away its intellectual property to BGCs in hopes of expanding impact; and second, the reach of BGCs offers an opportunity to provide significantly more kids with healthy social and emotional development than Playworks could not achieve on it's own. Here's how it works: Playworks is training and supporting BGC front-line staff in delivering Playworks' model of safe and healthy play for students during the school day at their local elementary school. This approach serves to transfer Playworks' expertise to the BGC staff, who are then equipped to independently support safe and healthy play for kids at the school, and in their after-school programs, going forward. In addition, the positive relationships established by BGC staff with children during the school day, leading to more kids joining the BGC programs after-school. As a result, more children have opportunities to play both during the school day and after school, with the support of caring, consistent adults.

Web site: n/a

Lead organization partners: Playworks and Boys & Girls Clubs

Kinds of organization: Community-based Non-profit Organization, Direct Service Non-profit Organization

Participant population: Youth (Ages 5-13 or Grades K-8)

Youth development support targetted: Physical Activity/Recreation/Playtime, Relationship with a Caring Adult, Mentor, or Tutor, Social and Emotional Learning/Character Development

Primary funding source: Earned Income (from sale of products or services), Local Philanthropy



Timeframe: Fall 2020 (Academic Year), Spring 2021 (Academic Year), Winter 2020 (Academic Year)

Location: California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts

Total capacity: Our goal is to expand this partnership through BGCs nationwide so the ultimate goal is millions of elementary-age children.

Health and safety: Compliance with State/County/City guidance, Open ventilation, Physical distancing, Required masks for all--adults and youth--on site

How do you address inequity? 

Safe and healthy play is not available to all children equitably. Fewer kids experience the benefits of play in low-wealth communities and in schools where resources are so limited that there are no available investments in staff, training or attention to the experience. We anticipate these inequities are only exacerbated by the pandemic and the challenges of re-opening schools. This initiative pairs a proven approach with a high-quality community-based organization that is present in nearly every community in the nation to more equitably make safe and healthy play available to all students. To the degree this initiative spreads widely, the current systemic inequities for kids will be mitigated, and more joy and fun and physical activity will be experienced by kids who deserve it!

Contact information: 

Eileen Pedersen, Director of Program Innovation, Playworks, eileen.pedersen@playworks.org
Meg Pitman, National Director, Quality Improvement at Boys & Girls Clubs of America, mpitman@bgca.org


Common agenda: We are SUSTAINING this element.

Continuous communication: We are SUSTAINING this element.

Backbone support: We are SUSTAINING this element.

Mutually reinforcing activities: We are SUSTAINING this element.

Shared measurement: We are SUSTAINING this element.

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