Innovator Track: Established Nonprofit

Meet the Speaker

Jill Riemer

What inspires you most about the work you do?

We’re connecting less in our world, and when we do bad things happen. The good news is play makes it better. And if you think about it, play is a vehicle for empathy and empathy helps equip adults and kids with greater abilities to solve some of our communities most difficult challenges. Joining together to build a movement of play in the Puget Sound not only inspires me but is something I feel fortunate to be stewarding.

How can someone engage or get involved with your organization/mission?

Donate. We are seeking initial core funding investments to scale our work while simultaneously offering for individuals through our website - please designate your gift to Seattle/Puget Sound (

All donations made by June 30, 2020, will be placed on our Playworks Washington charter donors list.

Participate in our Virtual Live Recess. Playworks is committed to providing content to keep play going in the face of the coronavirus. It is especially challenging for children who need us more than ever to support their need to be physically active and play. So we are adapting and finding new ways to engage and support children so they can still experience the benefits and joy of play during these unstable times. On March 20, we launched Play at Home to keep recess going 5 days a week, 3x a day until kids return to school. Go to: #PlayAtHome We would be grateful to you if you would share these resources with your community.

Learn more about Playworks

Playworks leverages the power of safe and healthy play in elementary schools. By creating a high functioning recess, working hand in hand with educators to support them in doing things like mapping out their playground and building play into leadership through our junior coach program, we help schools transform their school climates to be more inclusive, safe and with healthier connections that help kids to thrive. The work we do is evidence-based and engaging.

Playworks offers a range of consultative and direct services to meet the needs of the school no matter where they are at in their recess improvement journey. Principals see a decline in discipline referrals. Teachers see more cooperation in their classrooms. Paraprofessionals who do not usually get the same level of training are offered a highly engaging training opportunity. And students feel more safe and included. These are typical results and the social impact is profound.


Cummings Elementary School
10455 S Kirkwood Rd, Houston, TX 77099

2nd Grade recess
All have RWJF release