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Location: Boston
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Website: playworks.org

Year founded:: 1996
Number of employees: 54

Playworks is the leading nonprofit leveraging play as a tool to promote healthy behaviors, increase social/emotional learning and improve school climate.

Playworks New England currently supports safe and healthy play in 205 primarily low-income schools every day of the school year. Playworks partners with high-need elementary schools throughout New England with four levels of integrated services:

  • Coach: Our original direct service model. A full-time Playworks professional at a partner school engages students in recess programming, class-based action learning, youth leadership programs, and after-school sports leagues.
  • TeamUp: Our capacity building direct service model. A Playworks staff person consults with recess teams at four schools throughout the year to teach and model healthy play.
  • Pro: Our training model. Through a range of professional development workshops and consultation visits, Playworks trains adults to incorporate proven strategies of healthy play into their direct work.
  • Online Learning: PlayworksU provides video courses on demand that reinforce key concepts of safe and healthy play, supplemented by access to virtual consultative support.

A Stanford University/Mathematica Policy Research randomized control trial—the gold standard in evaluation—found that Playworks led to statistically significant impacts resulting in less bullying, higher feelings of student safety, more time engaged in vigorous physical activity, and less time transitioning from recess back to the classroom (2013).


As Senior Program Coordinator, Fellow will ensure strong program quality at all Playworks-based partner schools.


The Fellow’s direct service responsibilities will include the following:

  • Overseeing of Playworks’ volunteer engagements at schools and during our after school sports leagues. This includes engaging with 1) Corporate Volunteers 2) College Volunteers 3) Individual Volunteers.
  • In addition to serving as a volunteer lead, the FAO Fellow will be able to share best practices of volunteer engagement to Playworks regions across the country as well as learn from other regions how they engage with volunteers in their work.
  • The FAO Fellow will work on a recruitment strategy for volunteers including updating volunteer materials, creating a volunteer recruitment plan, and building relationships with various volunteer organizations.

The Fellow will improve brand awareness in the local community through a robust communication strategy and will be responsible for:

  • Collecting and highlighting stories from the field on our website, in emails, on social media, and printed materials.
  • Researching and advocating for recess policies in the New England region.
  • Sharing the new online tools and resources that Playworks has to offer schools with regions that are currently not partnering with Playworks.
  • Creating a systematic approach to communicating with current school partners and messaging the impact of our work to each school.
  • Managing our communication efforts via social media, online stories, and email campaigns.
  • Ensuring Playworks has the tools, systems, and capacity to sustain our communication strategy after the FAO Fellow term of service.

This fellowship will begin by August 2019 and will conclude by July 2021. Fellows will receive a bi-weekly stipend.

Applicants must be college seniors at the time of application and be eligible to work in the United States for the duration of the two-year Fellowship.

For more about what we are seeking, please see What We’re Looking For.

Please apply to this position through this link by February 15. You should prepare a cover letter and resume for the submission of your application that includes your interest in serving at Playworks and your reasons for applying for the FAO Schwarz Fellowship. If you have any questions, please email contact karleen.herbst@playworks.org.

In your cover letter, please include your responses to the following questions:

Question 1: Why are you interested in being apart of the FAO Schwarz Fellowship?

Question 2: Why are you interested in applying for the FAO Schwarz Fellowship position at this organization?

Question 3: What background and experiences would you bring to the direct service and special project work at this organization?

We review each application carefully and will select our Fellow by April 30th. Thanks for your interest.