It Just Takes One

Dwayne, a Playmaker and a Principal for Boston Public Schools shares his story of how one caring person changed the course of his life and the lives of the children he now nurtures. When you read about Dwayne and the way he’s made it his mission to help kids learn and heal through play, you’ll understand why the work we do is so important.

Playmaker Treka

Play Has Its Own Language

Some people live their lives with intentionality. They love unconditionally. They genuinely care about others. And they see the good in everyone. These people spread joy and optimism wherever they go. They are a force of good.

Treka Hannah is one of those people.

Play Floats: Playmaker Vierge Ibia shares her story

Play is the key to helping kids unlock the door to greater academic growth and achievement. Boston Public School Playmaker Viergeline Felix Ibia shares an inspiring example from her classroom.

Stories From the Field: Playmaker Vierge

Meet Viergeline Felix Ibia, who – as a little girl – was forced to flee Haiti. Discover how the Playmakers in her life guided her healing journey through traumatic grief and see how she’s making powerfully positive differences in the lives of her students today.

Visualization of entrance to online learning

Launch of Playmaker U

Playmaker University has officially launched! Our new certification program for Early Childhood Professionals features best-in-class online learning with our signature in-person workshops.

Steve rocks TED!

Earlier this month, TEDx Penn hosted 10 groundbreaking speakers to share ideas on how to help humanity evolve in revolutionary ways. Our very own Steve Gross was given the honor of closing out the conference on a note of – you guessed it – optimism.

Gerye Jwa

Haiti’s Joy Warriors shine light in a country plagued by darkness

Rising gang crime in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, has prevented thousands of children from going to school, making them easy prey for gang recruitment. For Haitian Playmakers trained by Haiti’s Gèrye Jwa (Creole for Joy Warriors) each day brings new heartbreaks and challenges, but some days bring hope.

Life is Good Tee Graphic

Optimism Keeps Playmaker's Marathon Goals in the Running

Playmaker Gabrielle was training to run the 2023 Boston Marathon as a charity runner to benefit the Life is Good Playmaker Project. Unfortunately, a stress fracture ended that dream, but she’s keeping a positive outlook and keeping the kids she works with, and other Playmakers in mind and heart as she continues to try to reach her fundraising goal.

children in Ukraine outside playing

"Guardians of Childhood" Partnership Brings Playmaker Training to Ukrainian Child Services Professionals

The Playmaker Project partnered with Ridni, a Ukrainian charitable fund, to scale up Guardians of Childhood, a psychosocial recovery initiative designed to train adult caregivers to protect children’s social-emotional wellbeing

Playmaker Spotlights

Trained Playmakers goodify and adapt practices, tools, and resources to build the healing, life-changing relationships that children in their own communities need to heal, learn, and grow.  Here are some of their stories!

Playmaker Sue Lena

Sue Lena, Positively Playful

Sue Lena, a preschool lead teacher and assistant center director, incorporates her favorite superpowers – humor and fun – into her daily interactions, and gives each child the opportunity to grow their confidence, experience joy, and to be able to explore and discover at their own pace and comfort level.

Playmaker, school resource officer, Will Chapman

Will Chapman, Playmaker, School Resource Officer

For William Chapman, School Resource Officer for Newtown, Connecticut, there's one important message he wants to convey to each and every child.

Carly McPartland, Educator, Rubber Chicken Wrangler

To fully appreciate just how big a deal Charlie and Reggie the rubber chickens really are, you’d have to go back to Carly McPartland’s first year of teaching.

Rishi, Gerye Jwa Executive Director

After a catastrophic 7.0 earthquake nearly leveled Haiti in 2010, Rishi – now the Executive Director of Gerye Jwa, our Playmaker team in Haiti – found Playmaker training to "life-changing" and "affirming."

Videos: Stories of Optimism

Artful, and heart-full, these short videos and documentaries profile the work of Playmakers -- and the impact they have even during the most trying of circumstances.

illustration of a handprint in orange

Media Inquiries: 

We're always up for spreading the word about the power of play and optimism in creating healing, life-changing relationships! You can reach us at