The Life is good Playmakers began as a Boston-based grassroots nonprofit working with child care providers with a special emphasis on its underserved communities. In addition to work in our local area, our training and support now reaches all six New England states as well as New York City and Philadelphia.
Along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, rates of extreme childhood poverty have been among the highest in the country for decades. In August of 2005, these long-standing issues of poverty and hardship were severely compounded when Hurricane Katrina, one of the most devastating disasters in U.S. history, hit its coastal areas. Due to the intensity of the storm and the painfully slow recovery, Katrina has caused significant trauma throughout the region. In the two years following Katrina, the Life is good Playmakers trained hundreds of preschool teachers to use a play-based group intervention name Powerplay.
The Life is good Playmakers have made a major impact on child care providers and children in St. Louis and in the San Francisco Bay Area. As of 2010, our team has certified a combined total of over 200 Playmakers in these communities.
We began spreading joy and playfulness in the Bay Area in 2009 by raising awareness and funds for our first-ever Playmaker Training. Through a successful and celebratory Life is good Festival at Golden Gate Park, we rallied the local community and attracted over 10,000 attendees.
Many children in the Bay Area are faced with the realities of poverty and community violence. A significant number of them have recently emigrated to the United States and are working to overcome the challenges of transitioning to a new life, language, and culture. In Fall 2011, we began implementing our Powerplay program with Oakland Head Start.
A smaller core team of these Gerye Jwa received additional training both in Haiti and in the United States in 2010 and 2011. In late 2011, they became an established non-governmental organization (NGO) in Haiti under the name of the Life is good Playmakers Ayiti . To-date the team has trained over 300 new Playmakers, who in turn are bringing a joyful, healing approach to thousands of children.