The Life is good Playmakers have made a major impact on childcare 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.
Each Powerplay session is designed to build self-esteem, promote a sense of belonging, develop self-regulation skills, and provide feelings of joy. Through structured group play, children have the opportunity to take effective, powerful action and in doing so, replace feelings of anxiety, fear and helplessness with feelings of safety, competence and well-being.
In March 2010 we hosted our first Preschool Playmaker training in the St. Louis area. Child care providers came from many organizations such as St. Louis County Youth Programs, Grace Hill Head Start, You In Need Head Start, Catholic Charities/St. Louis Child Development Center and South Side Day Nursery. Funds to support this training were raised through Festivals held in Nearby St. Charles each year from 2008-2010. These Festivals, which helped us gain friends and community partners, were hosted by Jakes on Main, a Life is good Genuine Neighborhood Shoppe.