To harness the power of optimism to create healing, life changing relationships for kids in need.
Through an outpouring of love, optimism, experience, and expertise, Chief Playmaker, Steve Gross, MSW, and a trusted team of researchers and colleagues spent 30+ years developing the Life is Good Playmaker program.
Designed so childcare professionals can harness the power of optimism to help kids heal, the program provides transformative trainings, signature tools, and ongoing coaching, so that they can build life-changing relationships.
Thanks to the generous partnership with Life is Good, all Playmaker operating costs are covered, so 100% of donations go toward helping kids heal.
Steve Gross founds Project Joy — a nonprofit organization that uses the power of joyful play to heal and strengthen homeless and impoverished children throughout Greater Boston. Steve is fueled by a powerful belief that every child deserves a happy childhood.
Recognized as a powerful treatment for early childhood trauma, Project Joy is contracted by the Center for Trauma Psychology to help design a therapeutic, play-based intervention to support the recovery of thousands of children traumatized by a massive earthquake in Elâzığ, Turkey. This project was coordinated by the Turkish Ministry of Education.
In an effort to help even more children, Steve Gross flips Project Joy’s model from working directly with children to training groups of childcare professionals in the Project Joy Approach. The new direction helps communities heal from within and gives birth to a whole new generation of Project Joy Playmakers.
Following Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi State University hires Project Joy to train to hundreds of early childhood educators in their work so they can rebuild a sense of safety, joy, and community for thousands of the Gulf Coast’s most impacted children.
Recognizing Project Joy’s ability to spread the power of optimism to children in times of great adversity, Life is Good invites Project Joy to be the sole social mission of the brand. Project Joy officially becomes The Life is Good Kids Playmakers.
In the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the Life is Good Playmakers partners with Haitian community leaders to develop a Playmaker training of trainers program in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. This initiative enables a small group of Haitian Playmakers (known in the community as Gerye Jwa – Haitian Creole for Joy Warriors) to train over 2,000 local childcare professionals in the Playmaker Program.
The Playmaker model evolves from training individual childcare professionals to providing training to entire social service organizations in the fields of education, health, and enrichment. These organizational partnerships help create sustainable, systemic improvements to the quality of care that these organizations are able to deliver to the children and families they serve.
Life is Good commits to a yearly donation of 10% of its net profits to the Playmaker Program. The generous donation covers all of Life is Good Kids Playmakers operating costs.
In the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the Life is Good Playmakers partners with Haitian community leaders to develop a Playmaker «training of trainers» program in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. This initiative enables a small group of Haitian Playmakers (known in the community as «Gerye Jwa» – Haitian Creole for «Joy Warriors») to train over 2,000 local childcare professionals in the Playmaker Program.
Platform development begins for the Life is Good Learning Experience. Together with technology partner Thought Industries, the Life is Good Learning Experience’s first mini documentary, Compassion, is piloted on the new platform.
Steve Gross, M.S.W., is the founder and chief playmaker of the Life is Good Kids Foundation, a non-profit that spreads the power optimism to kids who need it most.
Steve’s signature approach has been widely adapted across the country and throughout the world in response to the social and emotional needs of children deeply impacted by poverty, violence and illness. In addition to his work in the social sector, Steve has worked with many corporations such as Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Million Dollar Roundtable Club, and IBM to demonstrate how optimistic leaders can inspire people and organizations through times of change.
How optimism and the 10 Life is Good Superpowers can transform work environments into engaging, compassionate places primed for success. With an emphasis on building meaningful connections, this keynote is an ideal follow-up to any of our brand speakers.
The importance of discovering your own sense of optimism before cultivating it in others. Steve shares a wealth of experience working with childcare providers and kids impacted by trauma to show the importance of cultivating connected, loving, trusted relationships and prioritizing self-care—as you care for others.
Steve’s keynotes directly benefit the Life is Good Kids Foundation’s Playmaker Program, which impacts the lives of over 1 million children annually.
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